Original Article

Protective effect of tubuloside B on TNFalpha-induced apoptosis in neuronal cells

Min DENG, Jin-yuan ZHAO, Xiao-dong JU, Peng-fei TU, Yong JIANG, Zheng-bin LI


To investigate the neuroprotective effect of tubuloside B, one of the phenylethanoids isolated from the stems of Cistanche salsa, on tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha)-induced apoptosis in SH-SY5Y neuronal cells.
Cell viability was analyzed using MTT assay. Apoptotic cells were detected using Hoechst33342 staining, and confirmed by DNA fragmentation and flow cytometric analysis. The activity of caspase-3 was measured with special assay kit. The concentration of free intracellular calcium was determined with the probe Indo-1 by spectrometer. The level of intracellular reactive oxygen species and the potential of mitochondrial membrane were determined by laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) combined with fluorescence probe H2DCFDA or JC-1 respectively.
SH-SY5Y cells treated with TNFalpha 100 microg/L for 36 h showed typical morphological changes of apoptosis. DNA ladder could be observed by agarose gel electrophoresis. The highest percentage of apoptotic cells accumulated to 37.5 %. Following 36 h treatment with TNFalpha, accumulation of intracellular ROS and [Ca2+]i and decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential were observed, and caspase-3 activity increased by about five-fold compared with controls. However, pretreatment with tubuloside B (1, 10, or 100 mg/L) for 2 h attenuated the TNFalpha-mediated apoptosis. The antiapoptotic action of tubuloside B was partially dependent on an anti-oxidative stress effects, maintain of mitochondria function, decrease of concentration of free intracellular calcium and inhibition of caspase-3 activity.
Tubuloside B has the neuroprotective capacity to antagonize TNFalpha-induced apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells and may be useful in treating some neurodegenerative diseases.

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