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Neurogenesis-enhancing effect of sodium ferulate and its role in repair following stress-induced neuronal damage

Author(s): Lijian Yu | Yongping Zhang | Mingneng Liao | Yanping Wang | Rundi Ma | Xiaoyu Zhang | Tingxi Yu

Journal: World Journal of Neuroscience
ISSN 2162-2000

Volume: 01;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Sodium Ferulate | Neurogenesis-Enhancing Effect | Rat Pheochromocytoma (PC12) Cells | Stress-induced Neuronal Damage

Ferulic acid (FA) is a ubiquitous phenolic acid of low toxicity, and sodium ferulate (SF) is its sodium salt. Our previous studies have revealed that FA shows neuroprotective effect and significant antidepressant- like effect. The aim of this study was to investigate its potential neurogenesis-enhancing effect and its role in repair following stress-induced neuronal damage. MTT assay was performed to measure the effect of SF on the growth of rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells; morphological and immunocytochemical meth- ods were used for assessing its differentiation-induc- ing action. Chronic mild stress (CMS) tests were per- formed to establish rat model of depression. The histopathology of animal brains was studied to ana- lyze CMS-induced morphological changes and the effect of SF on the repair of CMS-induced brain in- jury. The expressions of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the proliferation of neural stem cell/neural progenitor cells were assessed in the hippocampi of chronic mild stress (CMS)-induced depression-like model rats by immunohistochemistry and bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)- incorporation assays, respectively. Our in vitro tests showed that SF promoted the proliferation of PC12 cells in the concentration range of 5 - 320 μM, and induced PC12 cells to differentiate to more mature cells with the morphological characteristics and mo- lecular marker of neuronal-like cells. In vivo tests showed that SF up-regulated the expressions of NGF and BDNF, and induced the proliferation of neural stem cell/neural progenitor cells in the hippocampi of CMS-induced depression-like model rats. This study provides evidences that SF shows neurogenesis-en- hancing effect, and its antidepressant-like effect of SF may be related directly and closely to its above-men- tioned effect.
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