Puerarin prevents tumor necrosis factor-α-induced apoptosis of PC12 cells via activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.
Exp Ther Med. 2017 Jul ;14(1):813-818. Epub 2017 Jun 6. PMID: 28673004
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), a potential proinflammatory cytokine, is an important component involved in neuronal apoptosis associated with neuroinflammation in the central nervous system. It has been reported that puerarin possesses pharmacological effects, such as anti-apoptotic, antioxidant, anti-osteoporosis, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and neuroprotective actions. The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of puerarin on apoptosis induced by TNF-α (3×10(5) U/l) and its detailed mechanisms in PC12 cells. MTT and flow cytometric assays were performed to evaluate cell cytotoxicity andapoptosis, respectively. An enzymatic assay was used to detect the activity of caspase-3 and caspase-9. Western blot analysis was performed to assess changes in the levels of proteins, including B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax), caspase-3, Akt and phosphorylated Akt. The results showed that puerarin (25 and 50 µM) significantly suppressed TNF-α-induced apoptosis in PC12 cells. The TNF-α-induced in crease in the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio was markedly inhibited by pre-treatment with puerarin for 2 h. In addition, puerarin decreased the level of TNF-α-induced cleaved caspase-3. Furthermore, puerarin inhibited the TNF-α-induced decrease in the phosphorylation of Akt, which was abolished by LY294002, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, suggesting that the PI3K/Akt pathway participated in the suppressive effect of puerarin. Taken together, these findings indicated that puerarin prevented TNF-α-induced apoptosis in PC12 cells via activating of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, suggesting that puerarin may be a potential neuroprotective drug in the clinical treatment of neuroinflammation via anti-apoptotic mechanisms.