Characterizing the neuroprotective effects of alkaline extract of Lycium barbarum on β-amyloid peptide neurotoxicity

Yuen Shan Ho, Man Shan Yu, Cora Sau Wan Lai, Kwok Fai So, Wai Hung Yuen, Raymond Chuen Chung Chang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Lycium barbarum is an oriental medicinal herb that has long been used for its anti-aging and cell-protective properties. Previous studies have shown that aqueous extracts from L. barbarum exhibit neuroprotection via inhibiting pro-apoptotic signaling pathways. Other active components can also be accomplished by novel alkaline extraction method, which may give different profiles of water-soluble components. We hypothesize that another active component obtained by alkaline extraction method exerts different biological mechanisms to protect neurons. In this study, we aim to examine the neuroprotective effects from the alkaline extract of L. barbarum, namely LBB, to attenuate β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide neurotoxicity. Primary cortical neurons were exposed to Aβ-peptides inducing apoptosis and neuronal cell death. Pretreatment of LBB significantly reduced the level of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and the activity of caspase-3 triggered by Aβ. "Wash-out" procedures did not reduce its neuroprotective effects, suggesting that LBB may not bind directly to Aβ. We have further isolated three subfractions from LBB, namely LBB-0, LBB-I and LBB-II. LBB-I and LBB-II showed differential neuroprotective effects. Western blot analysis demonstrated that LBB-I and LBB-II markedly enhanced the phosphorylation of Akt. Taken together, our results suggested that the glycoconjugate isolated from novel alkaline extraction method can open up a new avenue for drug discovery in neurodegenerative diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-134
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • β-Amyloid
  • Alkaline extraction
  • Lycium barbarum
  • Neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology

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