Ethnopharmacological relevance: Bamboo species are thought to be originally from Central China, but are now found in many temperate and semi-tropical regions around the world. Although the extracts from bamboo may have antioxidant activities and anti-inflammatory effects, their exact biological activities have not been elucidated.
Aim of the study: Two biological activities of bamboo-derived pyrolyzates were investigated; the protective effects against N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-induced cell death in primary cultured cortical neuron and the anti-plasmin effects determined by using fibrin and fibrinogen degradation products (FDPs) assay.
Results: Treatment of neuronal cells with pyrolyzates of Phyllostachys pubescens, Phyllostachys nigra and Phyllostachys bambusoides resulted in restored cell viability when compared to untreated cells in an NMDA-induced neuronal cell death assay. In addition, cortical neurons treated with Phyllostachys pubescens and Phyllostachys nigra showed a reduction of apoptosis following exposure to NMDA, as determined by Hoechst 33342 staining. In addition, Phyllostachys nigra pyrolyzates also exhibited anti-plasmin action in a FDP assay. It is of interest to note that pyrolyzates exhibited activities of NMDA-receptor antagonist and antifebrin (ogen), since a combination of NMDA receptor antagonists, glucocorticosteroids, GABAergic drugs and heparin are useful for treatment in delayed postischemic injury.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that the pyrolyzates derived from bamboo may have anti-apoptotic effects, and can be useful as a supplement for ischemic injury treatment.
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