Apigenin protects neuronal injury in differentiated PC12 cells

Figure adapted from Wikipedia
Recent study, published in the Neurochemical Research at Sep 11, 2014, shows that apigenin may guard neuronal cells by virtue of its protective effects.

Dr. Huizhen Guo and colleagues found that apigenin attenuates oxygen and glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R) sitimulated neuronal injury mainly via antiapoptotic and antioxidative effects of apigenin.
Ischemic stroke has been confirmed to cause neuronal injury due to its insufficient supply of glucose and oxygen to brain tissue. Previous research has shown that oxidative stress, a result of excessive accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), relates to pathophysiology of ischemic stroke, and causes oxidative damage to biomolecules, eventually leading to programmed cell death. Meanwhile, apigenin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer properties and neuroprotective action. 

Researchers wants to investigate the potential mechanisms underlying the neural protection of apigenin on oxygen and glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R) induced neuronal injury in differentiated PC12 cells.


Cells were pretreated with apigenin for 6 h, and then subjected to OGD for 12 h followed by reperfusion for 24 h. 

They also analyzed cell viability, mitochondrial membrane potential, mRNA levels of antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes, Nrf2 and p53 protein expression, LDH release, apoptosis, intracellular ROS levels.


The results showed that OGD/R significantly decreased cell viability, mitochondrial membrane potential, mRNA levels of antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes and Nrf2 protein expression, while elevated the release of LDH, cell apoptosis, intracellular ROS level, P53 protein expression and upregulated its downstream genes in PC12 cells. However, apigenin effectively inhibited these undesirable changes induced by OGD/R.


Their findings demonstrate that this compound attenuates OGD/R induced neuronal injury mainly by virtue of its anti-apoptosis and antioxidative properties via affecting the expression of Nrf2 and P53, and their downstream target gene transcription.

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Guo H, Kong S, Chen W, Dai Z, Lin T, Su J, Li S, Xie Q, Su Z, Xu Y, Lai X.
Apigenin Mediated Protection of OGD-Evoked Neuron-Like Injury in Differentiated
PC12 Cells. Neurochem Res. 2014 Sep 11. [Epub ahead of print]

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