Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin

Upregulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits and c-Fos expressing genes in PC12D cells by nobiletin.

PMID 24964900


The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor plays a key role in learning and memory. Our recent studies have shown that nobiletin from citrus peels activates the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) signaling pathway and ameliorates NMDA receptor antagonist-induced learning impairment by activating extracellular signal-regulated kinase. For the first time, we have shown that nobiletin significantly upregulated mRNA expression of the NMDA receptor subunits NR1, NR2A, and NR2B in PC12D cells. Furthermore, c-Fos mRNA expression also increased due to the action of nobiletin. Our results indicate that nobiletin modulates the expression of essential genes for learning and memory by activating the CREB signaling pathway, and suggest that this action mechanism of nobiletin plays a crucial role in improving NMDA receptor antagonist-induced learning impairment in model animals with dementia.