Butanol Extract of Tinospora cordifolia Ameliorates Cognitive Deficits Associated with Glutamate-Induced Excitotoxicity: A Mechanistic Study Using Hippocampal Neurons.
Neuromolecular Med. 2020 Mar ;22(1):81-99. Epub 2019 Oct 12. PMID: 31606849
Overstimulation of glutamate receptors leads to development of excitotoxicity, which is implicated as final destructive pathway in neurodegenerative diseases. Development of alternative therapeutic strategies effective against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity is much in demand. Herbal drug development is emerging as a major research area for the treatment of various debilitating diseases due to multimodal action and least side effects of herbal products. The current study was aimed to investigate neuroprotective potential of butanol extract of Tinospora cordifolia (B-TCE) against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity using primary hippocampal neurons as in vitro and Wistar strain albino rats as in vivo model systems. Molecular and behavioral parameters were studied to elucidate the underlying mechanism of beneficial effects of B-TCE. B-TCE treatment was also effective in prevention of anxiety, cognition, and motor-coordination deficits induced by glutamate. B-TCE pre-treatment protected the hippocampal neurons from glutamate-induced neurodegeneration and impaired plasticity. At molecular level, B-TCE was observed to attenuate overactivation of glutamate receptors. B-TCE promoted upregulation of ERK and AKT pathways of synaptic plasticity and cell survival in the hippocampus region of brain. This study provides first evidence of neuroprotective potential of B-TCE against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity in hippocampus region and suggests that B-TCE may act as a potential candidate for neuroprotective therapeutic approaches. A single compound 'tinosporicide' was further isolated from B-TCE, which was found to be effective at 800× lower concentration against glutamate-induced neurodegeneration under in vitro conditions.