Ellagic acid protects dopamine neurons from rotenone-induced neurotoxicity via activation of Nrf2 signalling.
J Cell Mol Med. 2020 Jul 12. Epub 2020 Jul 12. PMID: 32657027
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most prevalent central nervous system (CNS) degenerative disease. Oxidative stress is one of key contributors to PD. Nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is considered to be a master regulator of many genes involved in anti-oxidant stress to attenuate cell death. Therefore, activation of Nrf2 signalling provides an effective avenue to treat PD. Ellagic acid (EA), a natural polyphenolic contained in fruits and nuts, possesses amounts of pharmacological activities, such as anti-oxidant stress and anti-inflammation. Recent studies have confirmed EA could be used as a neuroprotective agent in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, mice subcutaneous injection of rotenone (ROT)-induced DA neuronal damage was performed to investigate EA-mediated neuroprotection. In addition, adult Nrf2 knockout mice and different cell cultures including MN9D-enciched, MN9D-BV-2 and MN9D-C6 cell co-cultures were applied to explore the underlying mechanisms. Results demonstrated EA conferred neuroprotection against ROT-induced DA neurotoxicity. Activation of Nrf2 signalling was involved in EA-mediated DA neuroprotection, as evidenced by the following observations. First, EA activated Nrf2 signalling in ROT-induced DA neuronal damage. Second, EA generated neuroprotection with the presence of astroglia and silence of Nrf2 in astroglia abolished EA-mediated neuroprotection. Third, EA failed to produce DA neuroprotection in Nrf2 knockout mice. In conclusion, this study identified EA protected against DA neuronal loss via an Nrf2-dependent manner.