Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 1175–1182 | Cite as

Puerarin Protects Hippocampal Neurons Against Cell Death in Pilocarpine-Induced Seizures Through Antioxidant and Anti-Apoptotic Mechanisms

  • Nanchang Xie
  • Cui Wang
  • Yajun Lian
  • Chuanjie Wu
  • Haifeng Zhang
  • Qian Zhang
Original Research


Puerarin extracted from Radix puerariae has been shown to exert neuroprotective effects. However, it is still not known whether puerarin protects hippocampal neurons against cell death in pilocarpine-induced seizures. In this study, we found that pretreatment with puerarin significantly attenuated the neuronal death in the hippocampus of rats with pilocarpine-induced epilepsy. In addition, puerarin decreased the level of seizure-induced reactive oxygen species in mitochondria isolated from the rat hippocampi. Terminal deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling staining showed that puerarin exerted an anti-apoptotic effect on the neurons in the epileptic hippocampus. Western blot analysis showed that puerarin treatment significantly decreased the expression of Bax and increased the expression of Bcl-2. Moreover, puerarin treatment restored the altered mitochondrial membrane potential and cytochrome c release from the mitochondria in the epileptic hippocampi. Altogether, the findings of this study suggest that puerarin exerts a therapeutic effect on epilepsy-induced brain injury through antioxidant and anti-apoptotic mechanisms.


Puerarin Epilepsy Mitochondria Apoptosis Oxidative stress 



This study was supported by a Grant from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81201012, 81371438), the Youth Innovation Fund of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation Special Funded Project (No. 2013T60707).

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nanchang Xie
    • 1
  • Cui Wang
    • 2
  • Yajun Lian
    • 1
  • Chuanjie Wu
    • 1
  • Haifeng Zhang
    • 1
  • Qian Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineThe First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina

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