Preventing H2O2-induced toxicity in primary cerebellar granule neurons via activating the PI3-K/Akt/GSK3β pathway by kukoamine from Lycii Cortex

Yuan Yuan Li, Shengquan Hu, Ye Qing Huang, Yifan Han, Hon Yeung Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Lycii Cortex (LyC) is widely used as a traditional anti-ageing food ingredient in soup, congee and tea for preventing degenerative disease. However, its bioactive components and modes of action have never been characterized scientifically. The aims of this study are to: 1) examine the neuroprotective effects of LyC against oxidative stress; 2) identify the bioactive components; 3) elucidate the possible molecular mechanisms of the key components. Phytochemical profiling using LC-MS/MS revealed that 7-(4-amino-butoxy)-6-methoxycoumarin, kukoamines A and B, and lyciumins A and B are the major characteristic compounds in LyC. LyC crude extract and kukoamines were effective in preventing cell damage in the H2O2-induced primary cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) model, but kukoamines were more efficacious and potent than the extract. Western blot analysis revealed that KB, the most abundant kukoamine, was capable of inhibiting the neuronal apoptosis via activating the PI3-K/Akt/GSK3β pathway. Thus, our explorative results indicated that kukoamine, the major compounds in LyC, acts as a promising neuroprotectant against the H2O2 induced toxicity in CGNs model via activating the PI3-K/Akt/GSK3β pathway. Furthermore, molecular insight to substantiate the application of LyC or kukoamines for prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases in which oxidative stress is involved is demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-721
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Functional Foods
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Anti-oxidative stress
  • Kukoamines
  • Lycii Cortex
  • Neuroprotection
  • Phytochemical profiling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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