Department of Pharmacology (Akagi Lab.)

Neurosci Lett (2012) in press
Trans-3-(3’4’-dimethoxyphenyl)-4-[(E)-3”,4”-dimethoxystyryl]cyclohex-1-ene (Comp.1) and cis-3-(3’4’-dimethoxyphenyl)-4-[(E)-3”,4”-dimethoxystyryl]cyclohex-1-ene (Comp.2), phenylbutenoid dimers, have been isolated as neurotrophic molecules from an Indonesian medicinal plant, Zingiber purpureum. The aim of this study was to explore the neurotrophic effects of Comp.1 and Comp.2 in vitro and in vivo. Comp.1 or Comp.2 significantly induced neurite sprouting in PC12 cells. Comp.1 or Comp.2 significantly increased the neurite length and number of neurites in primary cultured rat cortical neurons. Comp.1 and Comp.2 also provided significant protection against cell death caused by deprivation of serum. The in vivo effects of both Comp.1 and Comp.2 were evaluated on hippocampal neurogenesis in olfactory bulbectomized (OBX) mice, an experimental depression and dementia animal model. Comp.1, Comp.2, or fluoxetine, an antidepressant, were administrated once a day on days 15 to 28 after OBX. Neurogenesis was assessed by analysis of cells expressing NeuN, a neuronal marker, and 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine (BrdU) uptake. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the number of BrdU/NeuN double-labeled cells in the dentate gyrus was significantly decreased 30 days after OBX. Chronic treatment with Comp.1, Comp.2 or fluoxetine significantly increased the number of BrdU/NeuN double-labeled cells. These results indicate that Comp.1 and Comp.2 have neurotrophic effects, and have the potential for disease modification in depression and dementia.