Oxidative stress is considered a major contributor in the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy and in diabetes complications, such as nephropathy and cardiovascular diseases. Diabetic neuropathy, which is the most frequent complications of diabetes, affect sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves. This study aimed to investigate whether 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) protects SH-SY5Y neuronal cells against high glucose-induced toxicity. In the current study, we found that diabetic patients exhibited higher lipid peroxidation caused by oxidative stress than healthy subjects. 7,8-DHF exhibits superoxide anion and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities. High glucose-induced toxicity severely damaged SH-SY5Y neuronal cells, causing mitochondrial depolarization; however, 7,8-DHF recovered mitochondrial polarization. Furthermore, 7,8-DHF effectively modulated the expression of pro-apoptotic protein (Bax) and anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2) under high glucose, thus inhibiting the activation of caspase signaling pathways. These results indicate that 7,8-DHF has antioxidant effects and protects cells from apoptotic cell death induced by high glucose. Thus, 7,8-DHF may be developed into a promising candidate for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.
Keywords: Diabetic neuropathy; High glucose; Oxidative stress.