Poria cocos water extract (PCW) protects PC12 neuronal cells from beta-amyloid-induced cell death through antioxidant and antiapoptotic functions

Pharmazie. 2009 Nov;64(11):760-4.


Beta-amyloid (Abeta)-induced neurotoxicity is considered to be mediated through the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study, the protective effects of Poria cocos water extract (PCW) against Abeta1-42-induced cell death were investigated using rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. Exposure of PC12 cells to the Abeta1-42 (20 microM) for 48h resulted in neuronal cell death, whereas pretreatment with PCW at the concentration range of 5-125 microg/ml reduced Abeta1-42-induced cell death. In addition, PC12 cells treated with Abeta1-42 exhibited increased accumulation of intracellular oxidative damages and underwent apoptotic death as determined by characteristic morphological alterations and positive in situ terminal end-labeling (TUNEL staining). However, PCW attenuated Abeta1-42-induced cytotoxicity, apoptotic features, and accumulation of intracellular oxidative damage. Moreover, PCW (5 to 125 microg/ml) decreased expression of apoptotic protein Bax and activity of caspase-3, but enhanced expression of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. These results suggest that PCW may protect cells through suppressing the oxidative stress and the apoptosis induced by Abeta1-42, implying that PCW may be potential natural agents for Alzheimer's diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Death
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • PC12 Cells
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Poria / chemistry*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • 2-(4-iodophenyl)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)-5-(2,4-disulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Antioxidants
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Caspase 3