Antioxidant activity of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone provides neuroprotection against glutamate-induced toxicity

Neurosci Lett. 2011 Jul 25;499(3):181-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.05.054. Epub 2011 May 27.


Glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, plays an important role in neurological disorders. Previous studies have shown that excess glutamate can cause oxidative stress in a hippocampal HT-22 cell line. 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF), a member of the flavonoid family, is a selective tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) agonist that has neurotrophic effects in various neurological diseases such as stroke and Parkinson's disease. In this study, we found that there is no TrkB receptor in HT-22 cells. Despite this, our data demonstrate that 7,8-DHF still protects against glutamate-induced toxicity in HT-22 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, indicating that 7,8-DHF prevents cell death through other mechanisms rather than TrkB receptors in this cell model. We further show that 7,8-DHF increases cellular glutathione levels and reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) production caused by glutamate in HT-22 cells. Finally, our data demonstrate that 7,8-DHF protects against hydrogen peroxide and menadione-induced cell death, suggesting that 7,8-DHF has an antioxidant effect. In summary, although 7,8-DHF is considered as a selective TrkB agonist, our results demonstrate that 7,8-DHF can still confer neuroprotection against glutamate-induced toxicity in HT-22 cells via its antioxidant activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Death / drug effects*
  • Cell Line
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Flavones / pharmacology*
  • Glutamic Acid / toxicity*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / toxicity
  • Mice
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Vitamin K 3 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Vitamin K 3 / toxicity


  • 6,7-dihydroxyflavone
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavones
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Vitamin K 3
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Glutathione