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Senkyunolide A protects neural cells against corticosterone-induced apoptosis by modulating protein phosphatase 2A and α-synuclein signaling

Authors Gong S, Zhang J, Guo Z, Fu W

Received 6 January 2018

Accepted for publication 12 April 2018

Published 25 June 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1865—1879

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S161748

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Palas Chanda

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sukesh Voruganti


Shenglan Gong,1 Jin Zhang,2 Zhouke Guo,3 Wenjun Fu1

1South China Research Center for Acupuncture and Moxibustion, School of Basic Medical Science, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Anatomy, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Neurology and Psychology, Shenzhen Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518033, People’s Republic of China

Background: Depression is characterized by a pathological injury to the hippocampal neurons. Senkyunolide A (SenA) is one of the major active components of Dan-zhi-xiao-yao-san, which is widely used in the treatment of depression-related disorders.
Materials and methods: In the present study, it was hypothesized that the antidepressant effect of Dan-zhi-xiao-yao-san depended on the function of SenA and the authors attempted to reveal the molecular mechanism associated with the treatment. An in vitro depression model was induced using corticosterone (Cort), and the effect of SenA on the cell viability, apoptosis, and protein phosphatase 2A/α-synuclein (PP2A/α-syn) signaling was detected. To validate the mechanism driving the therapeutic effect of SenA, activity of PP2A and α-syn was modulated and the effect on neural cells was evaluated.
Results: The results showed that SenA protects Cort-induced cell apoptosis in PC12 cells. In addition, SenA increased Cort-induced reduction of PP2A activity, while it decreased the expression of p-PP2A, α-syn, and p-α-syn (Ser129). Further, modulation of PP2A activity with specific inhibitor okadaic acid (OA) increased Cort-induced cell apoptosis, while PP2A activator D-erythro-sphingosine (SPH) exhibited an opposite effect. The neuroprotective effects of SenA on neural cells also depended on inhibition of α-syn function, the regulation of which would influence the activity of PP2A in a negative loop.
Conclusion: Collectively, the results suggested that the neuroprotective effects of SenA were exerted by modulating activities of PP2A activities and α-syn. The findings partially explained the mechanism associated with the neuroprotective effect of SenA.

Keywords: α-synuclein, corticosterone, depression, neuroprotection, protein phosphatase 2A, senkyunolide A

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