Coptis chinensis Franch. exhibits neuroprotective properties against oxidative stress in human neuroblastoma cells

Thomas Friedemann*, Benjamin Otto, Kristin Klätschke, Udo Schumacher, Tao YI, Alexander Kai Man Leung, Thomas Efferth, Sven Schröder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance The dried rhizome of Coptis chinensis Franch. (family Ranunculaceae) is traditionally used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and diabetes. Recent studies showed a variety of activities of Coptis chinensis Franch. alkaloids, including neuroprotective, neuroregenerative, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. However, there is no report on the neuroprotective effect of Coptis chinensis Franch. watery extract against tert- butylhydroperoxide (t-BOOH) induced oxidative damage. The aim of the study is to investigate neuroprotective properties of Coptis chinensis Franch. rhizome watery extract (CRE) and to evaluate its potential mechanism of action. Materials and methods Neuroprotective properties on t-BOOH induced oxidative stress were investigated in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Cells were pretreated with CRE for 2 h or 24 h followed by 2 h of treatment with t-BOOH. To evaluate the neuroprotective effect of CRE, cell viability, cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and the apoptotic rate were determined and microarray analyses, as well as qRT-PCR analyses were conducted. Results Two hours of exposure to 100 μM t-BOOH resulted in a significant reduction of cell viability, increased apoptotic rate, declined mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and increased ROS production. Reduction of cell viability, increased apoptotic rate and declined mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) could be significantly reduced in cells pretreated with CRE (100 μg/ml) for 2 h or 24 h ahead of t-BOOH exposure with the greatest effect after 24 h of pretreatment; however ROS production was not changed significantly. Furthermore, microarray analyses revealed that the expressions of 2 genes; thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) and mitochondrially encoded NADH dehydrogenase 1, were significantly regulated. Down regulation of TXNIP was confirmed by qRT-PCR. Conclusion Due to its neuroprotective properties CRE might be a potential therapeutic agent for the prevention or amelioration of diseases like diabetic neuropathy and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer and Parkinsons disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-615
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

User-Defined Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Coptidis rhizoma
  • Neuroprotection
  • Oxidative stress
  • SH-SY5Y
  • Thioredoxin-interacting protein


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