We evaluated the antioxidant activity and neuronal cell-protective effect of fucoidan extract from Ecklonia cava (FEC) on hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂)-induced cytotoxicity in PC-12 and MC-IXC cells to assess its protective effect against oxidative stress. Antioxidant activities were examined using the ABTS radical scavenging activity and malondialdehyde-inhibitory effect, and the results showed that FEC had significant antioxidant activity. Intracellular ROS contents and neuronal cell viability were investigated using the DCF-DA assay and MTT reduction assay. FEC also showed remarkable neuronal cell-protective effect compared with vitamin C as a positive control for both H₂O₂-treated PC-12 and MC-IXC cells. Based on the neuronal cell-protective effects, mitochondrial function was analyzed in PC-12 cells, and FEC significantly restored mitochondrial damage by increasing the mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) and ATP levels and regulating mitochondrial-mediated proteins (p-AMPK and BAX). Finally, the inhibitory effects against acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which is a critical hydrolyzing enzyme of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the cholinergic system, were investigated (IC₅₀ value = 1.3 mg/ml) and showed a mixed (competitive and noncompetitive) pattern of inhibition. Our findings suggest that FEC may be used as a potential material for alleviating oxidative stress-induced neuronal damage by regulating mitochondrial function and AChE inhibition.
Keywords: Ecklonia cava; fucoidan; mitochondria; neuronal cells; oxidative stress.