Centella asiatica has been used for centuries to enhance memory. We have previously shown that a water extract of Centella asiatica (CAW) protects against the deleterious effects of amyloid-β (Aβ) in neuroblastoma cells and attenuates Aβ-induced cognitive deficits in mice. Yet, the neuroprotective mechanism of CAW has yet to be thoroughly explored in neurons from these animals. This study investigates the effects of CAW on neuronal metabolism and oxidative stress in isolated Aβ-expressing neurons. Hippocampal neurons from amyloid precursor protein overexpressing Tg2576 mice and wild-type (WT) littermates were treated with CAW. In both genotypes, CAW increased the expression of antioxidant response genes which attenuated the Aβ-induced elevations in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation in Tg2576 neurons. CAW also improved mitochondrial function in both genotypes and increased the expression of electron transport chain enzymes and mitochondrial labeling, suggesting an increase in mitochondrial content. These data show that CAW protects against mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in Aβ-exposed hippocampal neurons which could contribute to the beneficial effects of the extract observed in vivo. Since CAW also improved mitochondrial function in the absence of Aβ, these results suggest a broader utility for other conditions where neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction occurs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology