Indexed on: 07 Jun '14Published on: 07 Jun '14Published in: PloS one
Mitochondrial dysfunction caused by amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). Substantial evidence has indicated that the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening is involved in Aβ-induced neuronal death and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Astragaloside IV (AS-IV), one of the major active constituents of Astragalus membranaceus, has been reported as an effective anti-oxidant for treating neurodegenerative diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms still need to be clarified. In this study, we investigated whether AS-IV could prevent Aβ1-42-induced neurotoxicity in SK-N-SH cells via inhibiting the mPTP opening. The results showed that pretreatment of AS-IV significantly increased the viability of neuronal cells, reduced apoptosis, decreased the generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased mitochondrial superoxide in the presence of Aβ1-42. In addition, pretreatment of AS-IV inhibited the mPTP opening, rescued mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), enhanced ATP generation, improved the activity of cytochrome c oxidase and blocked cytochrome c release from mitochondria in Aβ1-42 rich milieu. Moreover, pretreatment of AS-IV reduced the expression of Bax and cleaved caspase-3 and increased the expression of Bcl-2 in an Aβ1-42 rich environment. These data indicate that AS-IV prevents Aβ1-42-induced SK-N-SH cell apoptosis via inhibiting the mPTP opening and ROS generation. These results provide novel insights of AS-IV for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as AD.