Background: Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease, characterized by progressive decline in memory and cognitive functions, that results from loss of neurons in the brain. Amyloid beta (Aβ) protein and oxidative stress are major contributors to Alzheimer's disease, therefore, protecting neuronal cells against Aβ-induced toxicity and oxidative stress might form an effective approach for treatment of this disease. 3,5,4'-trihydroxy-6,7,3'-trimethoxyflavone (TTF) is a flavonoid we have purified from the plant Achillea fragrantissima; and the present study examined, for the first time, the effects of this compound on Aβ-toxicity to neuronal cells. Methods: Various chromatographic techniques were used to isolate TTF from the plant Achillea fragrantissima, and an N2a neuroblastoma cell line was used to study its activities. The cellular levels of total and phosphorylated stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (SAPK/JNK) and of total and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK 1/2) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were measured by using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCF-DA). Cytotoxicity and cell viability were assessed by using lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity in cell-conditioned media, or by crystal violet cell staining, respectively. Results: TTF prevented the Aβ-induced death of neurons and attenuated the intracellular accumulation of ROS following treatment of these cells with Aβ. TTF also inhibited the Aβ-induced phosphorylation of the signaling proteins SAPK/JNK and ERK 1/2, which belong to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family. Conclusion: TTF should be studied further as a potential therapeutic means for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
- Achillea fragrantissima
- Alzheimer's disease
- Amyloid beta
- Mitogen-activated protein kinases