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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract inhibits glutamate-induced cell death through inhibition of calcium signals and nitric oxide formation in cultured rat hippocampal neurons

Seo-Hee Ahn12, Hee Jung Kim3, Imju Jeong12, Yi Jae Hong12, Myung-Jun Kim1, Duck-Joo Rhie1, Yang-Hyeok Jo1, Sang June Hahn1 and Shin Hee Yoon12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-701, Korea

2 the Catholic Institute for Advanced Biomaterials, The Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-701, Korea

3 Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Dankook University, San 29, Anseo-dong, Cheonan-si, Chungnam 330-714, Korea

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BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12:78  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-78

Published: 3 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Proanthocyanidin is a polyphenolic bioflavonoid with known antioxidant activity. Some flavonoids have a modulatory effect on [Ca2+]i. Although proanthocyanidin extract from blueberries reportedly affects Ca2+ buffering capacity, there are no reports on the effects of proanthocyanidin on glutamate-induced [Ca2+]i or cell death. In the present study, the effects of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) on glutamate-induced excitotoxicity was investigated through calcium signals and nitric oxide (NO) in cultured rat hippocampal neurons.

Results

Pretreatment with GSPE (0.3-10 μg/ml) for 5 min inhibited the [Ca2+]i increase normally induced by treatment with glutamate (100 μM) for 1 min, in a concentration-dependent manner. Pretreatment with GSPE (6 μg/ml) for 5 min significantly decreased the [Ca2+]i increase normally induced by two ionotropic glutamate receptor agonists, N-methyl-D-aspartate and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA). GSPE further decreased AMPA-induced response in the presence of 1 μM nimodipine. However, GSPE did not affect the 50 mM K+-induced increase in [Ca2+]i. GSPE significantly decreased the metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist (RS)-3,5-Dihydroxyphenylglycine-induced increase in [Ca2+]i, but it did not affect caffeine-induced response. GSPE (0.3-6 μg/ml) significantly inhibited synaptically induced [Ca2+]i spikes by 0.1 mM [Mg2+]o. In addition, pretreatment with GSPE (6 μg/ml) for 5 min inhibited 0.1 mM [Mg2+]o- and glutamate-induced formation of NO. Treatment with GSPE (6 μg/ml) significantly inhibited 0.1 mM [Mg2+]o- and oxygen glucose deprivation-induced neuronal cell death.

Conclusions

All these data suggest that GSPE inhibits 0.1 mM [Mg2+]o- and oxygen glucose deprivation-induced neurotoxicity through inhibition of calcium signals and NO formation in cultured rat hippocampal neurons.