Cellular and molecular neurobiology

Bilobalide induces neuronal differentiation of P19 embryonic carcinoma cells via activating Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

PMID 24838256


Bilobalide, a natural product extracted from Ginkgo biloba leaf, is known to exhibit a number of pharmacological activities. So far, whether it could affect embryonic stem cell differentiation is still unknown. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of bilobalide on P19 embryonic carcinoma cells differentiation and the underlying mechanisms. Our results showed that bilobalide induced P19 cells differentiation into neurons in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. We also found that bilobalide promoted neuronal differentiation through activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Exposure to bilobalide increased inactive GSK-3β phosphorylation, further induced the nuclear accumulation of β-catenin, and also up-regulated the expression of Wnt ligands Wnt1 and Wnt7a. Neuronal differentiation induced by bilobalide was totally abolished by XAV939, an inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin pathway. These results revealed a novel role of bilobalide in neuronal differentiation from P19 embryonic cells acting through Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which would provide a better insight into the beneficial effects of bilobalide in brain diseases.