6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) induces the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are associated with various neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease. 3,3',4',7-Tetrahydroxyflavone (fisetin), a plant flavonoid has a variety of physiological effects such as antioxidant activity. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism of the neuroprotective effects of fisetin against 6-OHDA-induced cell death in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. 6-OHDA-mediated cell toxicity was reduced in a fisetin concentration-dependent manner. 6-OHDA-mediated elevation of the expression of the oxidative stress-related genes such as hemeoxygenase-1, NAD(P)H dehydrogenase quinone 1, NF-E2-related factor 2, and γ-glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier was suppressed by fisetin. Fisetin also lowered the ratio of the proapoptotic Bax protein and the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 protein in SH-SY5Y cells. Moreover, fisetin effectively suppressed 6-OHDA-mediated activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9, which leads to the cell death, while, 6-OHDA-induced caspase-3/7 activity was lowered. Furthermore, fisetin activated the PI3K-Akt signaling, which inhibits the caspase cascade, and fisetin-mediated inhibition of 6-OHDA-induced cell death was negated by the co-treatment with an Akt inhibitor. These results indicate that fisetin protects 6-OHDA-induced cell death by activating PI3K-Akt signaling in human neuronal SH-SY5Y cells. This is the first report that the PI3K-Akt signaling is involved in the fisetin-protected ROS-mediated neuronal cell death.
Keywords: 6-OHDA; Caspase; Fisetin; PI3K-Akt; SH-SY5Y cells.