Maslinic acid, a natural triterpenoid compound from Olea europaea, protects cortical neurons against oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced injury.Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Nov 16; 670(1):148-53.EJ
Maslinic acid is a triterpenoid compound present in plants of Olea europaea. This compound has been reported to have potent antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-HIV and anti-inflammatory activities. In this study, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of maslinic acid and its mechanism of action. With presence or absence of maslinic acid, cortical neurons were subjected to 1h of oxygen-glucose deprivation and 24h of reoxygenation. Cell injury was determined by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) measurement and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Neuronal apoptosis was evaluated by flow cytometry assay, caspase-3 expression/activity, caspase-9 activity and Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Nitric Oxide (NO) production and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression were also detected. Results showed that maslinic acid dose-dependently ameliorated neuron injury and apoptosis. Maslinic acid treatment normalized the caspase expression/activation and increased the Bcl-2/Bax ratio. In addition, maslinic acid inhibited oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced NO production and iNOS expression. These results indicated that maslinic acid has beneficial effects on hypoxic neurons by suppressing iNOS activation, which may, in turn, provide neuroprotection.