PloS one

Tetramethylpyrazine suppresses transient oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced connexin32 expression and cell apoptosis via the ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK pathway in cultured hippocampal neurons.

PMID 25237906


Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) has been widely used in China as a drug for the treatment of various diseases. Recent studies have suggested that TMP has a protective effect on ischemic neuronal damage. However, the exact mechanism is still unclear. This study aims to investigate the mechanism of TMP mediated ischemic hippocampal neurons injury induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). The effect of TMP on hippocampal neurons viability was detected by MTT assay, LDH release assay and apoptosis rate was measured by flow cytometry. TMP significantly suppressed neuron apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. TMP could significantly reduce the elevated levels of connexin32 (Cx32) induced by OGD. Knockdown of Cx32 by siRNA attenuated OGD injury. Moreover, our study showed that viability was increased in siRNA-Cx32-treated-neurons, and neuron apoptosis was suppressed by activating Bcl-2 expression and inhibiting Bax expression. Over expression of Cx32 could decrease neurons viability and increase LDH release. Furthermore, OGD increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and p38, whose inhibitors relieved the neuron injury and Cx32 up-regulation. Taken together, TMP can reverse the OGD-induced Cx32 expression and cell apoptosis via the ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK pathways.