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Tetramethyl Pyrazine Protects Hippocampal Neurons Against Anoxia/Reoxygenation Injury Through Inhibiting Apoptosis Mediated by JNK/MARK Signal Pathway

Ming Zhong, Wuhua Ma, Xiong Zhang, Yong Wang, Xiaoqiu Gao

Department of Anesthesiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:5082-5090

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.898921

Available online:

Published: 2016-12-23

BACKGROUND: Tetramethyl pyrazine (TMP) is a typical biologically active alkaloid isolated from the Chinese herb Ligusticum walliichi. It has been reported that TMP shows neuroprotective and stroke injury reductive properties in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) animal models. In the present study we sought to investigate the effect and potential intervention mechanism of TMP in anoxia/reoxygenation (A/R) rat hippocampal neurons.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: After being cultured for 7 days, primary hippocampal neurons were randomly assigned into a normal control group (N), a TMP group (C: 0 ug/ml, L: 60 ug/ml, M: 200ug/ml and H: 800 ug/ml), and a JNK inhibitor group (S: SP600125, 10 μmol/L). A hypoxia/reoxygenation model were prepared 1 h after incubation. Hippocampal neurons were incubated in 90% N2 and 10% CO2 for 2 h, and then reoxygenated for 24 h in an incubator with 5%CO2 at the temperature of 37°C. The apoptosis rate, MKK4 and MKK7 mRNA and JNK kinase protein levels (C-fos, c-jun, and P-JNK) of hippocampal neurons were detected.
RESULTS: The apoptosis rates of hippocampal neurons induced by A/R showed significant reduction after being pre-treated with JNK inhibitor, TMP 60 µg/ml, 200 µg/ml, and 800 µg/ml. The JNK kinase MKK4mRNA and MKK7mRNA levels, as well as the expressions of C-fos, C-jun, and P-JNK protein levels, were also be reduced.
CONCLUSIONS: TMP may produce a protective effect in anoxia/reoxygenation-induced primary hippocampal neuronal injury by inhibiting the apoptosis of the hippocampal neurons; the possible mechanism may be inhibition of the JNK signal pathway.

Keywords: Anoxia, MAP Kinase Signaling System, Signal Transduction