Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 73–82 | Cite as

Neuroprotective Effects of Active Ingredients Isolated from Pegasus laternarius on Cultured Cerebral Neurons

  • Mengtao Li
  • Minhui Chen
  • Hai Huang
  • Wucheng Tao
  • Jihong Cui
  • Hui Xiang
Original Research


Seamoth (Pegasus laternarius Cuvier) is extensively used to treat various diseases on the coastland of Guangdong Province in China, such as scrofula, cough, and diarrhea. The total extract of Pegasus laternarius (EP) was subjected to column chromatography to acquire three different constituents (EPC1, EPC2, and EPC3). Cerebral neuron injury was induced by glutamate, H2O2, and serum deprivation. After treating with or without different extracts, cell viability was assessed with the MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay, and cell apoptosis was analyzed with Hoechst 33258 staining and agarose gel electrophoresis. We also determined the levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), maleic dialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px). The results showed that both EP and EPC2 promoted the outgrowth of cultural neurons, increased antioxidant enzyme activity, and protected neurons from neuronal injury or apoptosis induced by glutamate, H2O2, and serum deprivation. EPC1 and EPC3 had little or no effect on neurons. These results suggest that the active ingredients obtained from Pegasus laternarius have potential neuroprotective effects on injured neurons by promoting the outgrowth of cultured neurons, increasing the activity of intracellular antioxidants, and exerting antiapoptotic effects. This neuroprotection may be attributable to specific active ingredients, such as taurine, novel ceramide, and cholesterol.


Pegasus laternarius Active ingredients Cerebral neurons Apoptosis Taurine Neuroprotective effect 



This work was supported by a research grant from the Guangdong Science-Tech Program (no. 2001331004202516) and the Science Foundation of Life Sciences School, Sun Yat-Sen University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mengtao Li
    • 1
  • Minhui Chen
    • 1
  • Hai Huang
    • 1
  • Wucheng Tao
    • 1
  • Jihong Cui
    • 1
  • Hui Xiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological Science and Technology, School of Life SciencesSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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