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Neurotrophic Action of 5‑Hydroxylated Polymethoxyflavones: 5‑Demethylnobiletin and Gardenin A Stimulate Neuritogenesis in PC12 Cells

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posted on 2013-10-02, 00:00 authored by Szu-Ping Chiu, Ming-Jiuan Wu, Pei-Yi Chen, Yi-Ru Ho, Mi-Hsueh Tai, Chi-Tang Ho, Jui-Hung Yen
Polymethoxyflavones (PMFs) exhibit a broad spectrum of biological properties, including anticancer, antiatherogenic, and neuroprotective effects. The aim of this study is to investigate the neurotrophic effects of 5-demethylnobiletin, a hydroxylated PMF found in citrus plants, and gardenin A, a synthetic PMF analogue, on neurite outgrowth and neuronal differentiation in PC12 cells. The results of this study showed that 5-demethylnobiletin and gardenin A (10–20 μM) potently induce neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells, accompanied by the expression of neuronal differentiation and synapse formation marker proteins, growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43), and synaptophysin. We observed that the addition of K252a, a TrKA antagonist, significantly inhibited NGF-induced neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells, but 5-demethylnobiletin- or gardenin A-induced neurite outgrowth was not affected. Treatment with 5-demethylnobiletin and gardenin A markedly induced the phosphorylation of both cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and CRE-mediated transcription, which was suppressed through the administration of the inhibitor 2-naphthol AS-E phosphate (KG-501) or using CREB siRNA. Furthermore, our results showed that MAPK/ERK kinase 1/2 (MEK1/2), protein kinase A (PKA), and protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors blocked the CRE transcription activity and neurite outgrowth induced through 5-demethylnobiletin or gardenin A. Consistently, increased ERK phosphorylation and PKA and PKC activities were observed in PC12 cells treated with 5-demethylnobiletin or gardenin A. These results reveal for the first time that 5-demethylnobiletin and gardenin A promote neuritogenesis through the activation of MAPK/ERK-, PKC-, and PKA-dependent, but not TrkA-dependent, CREB signaling pathways in PC12 cells.

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