Arzneimittelforschung 2012; 62(04): 187-193
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1299763
Original Article
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Protective Effect of Puerarin on β-Amyloid-Induced Neurotoxicity in Rat Hippocampal Neurons

F. Lin*
1  School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
B. Xie*
1  School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
F. Cai
2  Department of Pharmacology, Medical College, Xianning University, Xianning, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China
G. Wu
3  Department of Neurosurgery, 309 Hospital of Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Haidian District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 22 November 2011

accepted 14 December 2011

Publication Date:
25 January 2012 (online)


Puerarin (CAS Number 3681-99-0), a major isoflavone glycoside purified from Pueraria lobata, was reported to posses antioxidative and estrogen-like biological activities. Recent studies showed that puerarin protects different cell types from damage caused by a variety of toxic stimuli. In the present study, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of puerarin against Aβ25–35-induced neurotoxicity in cultured hippocampal neurons, as well as the underlying mechanism(s). Following exposure of cells to Aβ25–35, cell survival and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and catalase (CAT) activities were reduced while production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was increased. Preincubation of the cells with puerarin prior to Aβ25–35 exposure increased cell survival and GSH-Px and CAT activities and decreased ROS production. It was previously shown that overactivation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) is implicated in Aβ-induced cell death. In this study, Aβ25–35 treatment is found to increase GSK-3β activity and pretreatment with puerarin preventesAβ-induced activation of GSK-3β based on Western blot analysis. In addition, puerarin is shown to activate protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt, an important upstream kinase of GSK-3β, possibly promoting subsequent GSK-3β inhibition. Our data suggest that puerarin attenuates cell death induced by Aβ25–35 via various mechanisms, which might be beneficial for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.


*  These 2 authors contributed equally to this work (co-first author).