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Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive drug that induces irreversible damage to neuronal cells and pathological malfunction in the brain. Aromadendrin, isolated from the flowers of Chionanthus retusus, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory or anti-tumor activity. Nevertheless, it has been reported that METH exacerbates neurotoxicity by inducing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress via the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR) pathway in neuronal cells. There is little evidence that aromadendrin protects cells from neurotoxicity induced by METH. In this study, we found that aromadendrin partially suppressed the METH-induced cell death in SH-SY5y cells without causing cytotoxicity. Aromadendrin regulated METH-induced ER stress by preserving the phosphorylation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in METH-exposed SH-SY5y cells. In addition, aromadendrin mitigated METH-induced autophagic and the apoptotic pathways in METH-exposed SH-SY5y cells. Mechanistic studies revealed that pre-treatment with aromadendrin restored the expression of anti-apoptotic proteins in METH-exposed conditions. The inhibitor assay confirmed that aromadendrin-mediated restoration of mTOR phosphorylation protected cells from autophagy and apoptosis in METH-exposed cells. Therefore, these findings suggest that aromadendrin relatively has a protective effect on SH-SY5y cells against autophagy and apoptosis induced by METH via regulation of ER stress and the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway.


Hyun-Su Lee, Eun-Nam Kim, Gil-Saeng Jeong. Aromadendrin Protects Neuronal Cells from Methamphetamine-Induced Neurotoxicity by Regulating Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling Pathway. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Feb 25;22(5)

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PMID: 33668860

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