In vitro evaluation of the neuroprotective effect of oligo-porphyran from Porphyra yezoensis in PC12 cells

  • YingJuan Liu
  • Zhenzhen Deng
  • Lihua Geng
  • Jing WangEmail author
  • Quanbin ZhangEmail author


Porphyran, derived from the marine red algae Porphyra and Pyropia, is a type of polysaccharide. Oligo-porphyran (OP) was prepared from porphyran (isolated from Pyropia yezoensis) through the acidolysis reaction containing a linear backbone of alternating 3-linked β-d-galactose and 4-linked α-l-galactose-6-sulfate. Our previous studies have shown that oligo-porphyran could attenuate MPTP-induced behavioral deficits in mice by inhibiting the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) loss. In the present study, we further investigated how OP protects the dopamine neurons from loss in PC12 cells. OP significantly attenuated LDH release and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) lesioned by 6-OHDA. Moreover, OP alleviated the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) loss, the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2, and upregulated the PI3K/ Akt/PKC pathway, the level of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and dopamine transporter (DAT). Furthermore, OP decreased the production of proinflammatory cytokines. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining further indicated that OP treatment inhibited apoptosis. These results might contribute to the overall understanding of the potential health benefits of OP for food and drug applications.


Rhodophyta Oligo-porphyran Apoptosis 6-OHDA PC12 cells Mitochondria 



We thank Elsevier ( for linguistic assistance during the preparation of this manuscript. We are grateful to Professor Weicheng Hu of Huaiyin Institute of Technology for providing the PC12 cell line.

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Key R&D Plan (grant number 2018YFD0901104), the Evaluation and Transformation of Active Natural Compounds, Strategic Biological Resources Service Network Programme of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. ZSTH-025), the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41406144, 41506165), the Ocean Public Welfare Scientific Research Project, the State Oceanic Administration of the People’s Republic of China (No. 201405040), the Science and Technology project of Shandong province (No. 2016GSF115031), and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of CAS under Grant (No. 2016190).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Experimental Marine Biology, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine Biology and BiotechnologyQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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