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Rhubarb extract has a protective role against radiation-induced brain injury and neuronal cell apoptosis

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Oxidative stress caused by ionizing radiation is involved in neuronal damage in a number of disorders, including trauma, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ionizing radiation can lead to the formation of free radicals, which cause neuronal apoptosis and have important roles in the development of some types of chronic brain disease. The present study evaluated the effects of varying concentrations (2, 5 and 10 µg/ml) of ethanolic rhubarb extract on the neuronal damage caused by irradiation in primary neuronal cultures obtained from the cortices of rat embryos aged 20 days. Brain damage was induced with a single dose of γirradiation that induced DNA fragmentation, increased lactate dehydrogenase release in neuronal cells and acted as a trigger for microglial cell proliferation. Treatment with rhubarb extract significantly decreased radiationinduced lactate dehydrogenase release and DNA fragmentation, which are important in the process of cell apoptosis. The rhubarb extract exhibited dosedependent inhibition of lactate dehydrogenase release and neuronal cell apoptosis that were induced by the administration of ionizing radiation. The effect of a 10 µg/ml dose of rhubarb extract on the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by radiation was also investigated. This dose led to significant inhibition of ROS generation. In conclusion, the present study showed a protective role of rhubarb extract against irradiationinduced apoptotic neuronal cell death and ROS generation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurology, Zhongshan City People's Hospital, Zhongshan, Guangdong 528403, P.R. China 2: Department of Neurology, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yatsen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, P.R. China 3: Department of Neurology, Sun Yatsen Memorial Hospital of Sun Yatsen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510120, P.R. China

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • Molecular Medicine Reports is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal available in print and online, that includes studies devoted to molecular medicine, underscoring aspects including pharmacology, pathology, genetics, neurosciences, infectious diseases, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. In vitro and in vivo studies of experimental model systems pertaining to the mechanisms of a variety of diseases offer researchers the necessary tools and knowledge with which to aid the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
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