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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-31

Astragalus protects PC12 cells from 6-hydroxydopamine-induced neuronal damage: A serum pharmacological study

1 Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Shandong University School of Basic Medicine, Shandong, China
2 Department of Orthopaedics, Cheelee College of Medicine, Qilu Hospital (Qingdao), Shandong University, Shandong, China
3 Department of Anesthesiology, Second Hospital of Shandong University, Shandong, China
4 Department of Psychiatry, Shandong Mental Health Center, Shandong, China

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chuan-Gang Li
Department of Anesthesiology, Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan 250033, Shandong
Dr. Zeng-Xun Liu
Department of Psychiatry, Shandong Mental Health Center, Jinan 250014, Shandong
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CJP.CJP_50_20

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Accumulating evidence has already indicated that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) possesses tremendous potential for treating neurodegenerative diseases. Astragalus, also named Huangqi, is a famous traditional medical herb that can be applied to treat cerebral ischemia and prevent neuronal degeneration. Nevertheless, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unexplored. In the present study, Astragalus-containing serum (ASMES) was prepared and added into the culture medium of PC12 cells to explore its neuroprotective effect on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-caused neuronal toxicity. Our data showed that ASMES significantly ameliorated the cellular viability of cultured PC12 cells against the neurotoxicity induced by 6-OHDA (P < 0.05). Moreover, ASMES significantly decreased the cell apoptosis triggered by 6-OHDA (P < 0.01). Furthermore, 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescin diacetate assay was performed to detect the changes in oxidative stress, and we showed that 6-OHDA elevated the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), whereas ASMES significantly reversed these changes (P < 0.01). Besides, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) assay showed that ASMES could restore 6-OHDA-damaged MMP in cultured PC12 cells (P < 0.05). In conclusion, Astragalus could protect PC12 cells from 6-OHDA-caused neuronal toxicity, and possibly, the ROS-mediated apoptotic pathway participated in this process. Collectively, our findings provided valuable insights into the potential in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

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