Magnolol protects cortical neuronal cells from chemical hypoxia in rats

Neuroreport. 1998 Oct 26;9(15):3451-6. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199810260-00021.


The protective effect of magnolol, a component of Magnolia officinalis, against hypoxia-induced cell injury in cortical neuron-astrocyte mixed cultures was examined. Exposure of the cells to chemical hypoxia (0.5 mM KCN) produced morphological changes in neurons but not in astrocytes. KCN induced dose- and time-dependent increases in release of LDH and decreases in viable cell number. Treatment with magnolol (10 and 100 microM) significantly reduced the KCN-induced LDH release in a concentration-dependent manner. A higher concentration (750 microM) magnolol was toxic. Nuclear condensation was not observed in KCN-treated cells, suggesting that chemical hypoxia-induced cell death was via necrosis, rather than via apoptosis. This is the first report demonstrating that magnolol protects neurons against chemical hypoxic damage or necrotic cell death in cortical neuron-astrocyte mixed cultures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology
  • Biphenyl Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Hypoxia / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / pharmacology*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Hypoglycemia / metabolism
  • Indoles
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Lignans*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • Neurotoxins / pharmacology
  • Potassium Cyanide / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Indoles
  • Lignans
  • Neurotoxins
  • magnolol
  • DAPI
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Potassium Cyanide