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pISSN 1226-4512 eISSN 2093-3827


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Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2007; 11(5): 170-174

Published online October 30, 2007

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

Neuroprotective Effects of Methanol Extracts of Jeju Native Plants on Hydrogen Peroxide-induced Cytotoxicity in SH-SY5Y Human Neuroblastoma Cells

Pil-Jae Kong1, Yu-Mi Kim1, Hee Jae Lee1, Sung-Soo Kim1, Eun Sook Yoo2, and Wanjoo Chun1

1Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chunchon 200-701, 2Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Cheju National University, Jeju 690-756, Korea


Neuronal death is a common characteristic hallmark of a variety of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. However, there have been no effective drugs to successfully prevent neuronal death in those diseases, whereas oriental medicinal plants have to possess valuable therapeutic potentials to treat neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, in an attempt to provide neuroprotective agents from natural plants, 80% methanol extracts of a wide range of medicinal plants, which are native to Jeju Island in Korea, were prepared and their protective effects on hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptotic cell death were examined. Among those tested, extracts from Smilax china and Saururus chinesis significantly decreased hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptotic cell death. The extracts attenuated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced caspase-3 activation in a dose-dependent manner. Further, plant extracts restored H2O2-induced depletion of intracellular glutathione, a major endogenous antioxidant. The data suggest that Jeju native medicinal plants could potentially be used as therapeutic agents for treating or preventing neurodegenerative diseases in which oxidative stress is implicated.

Keywords: Neuroprotection, Jeju native plants, Hydrogen peroxide, Caspase-3