The Role of Flavonoids on Oxidative Stress in Epilepsy
Hispidulin, a naturally occurring flavone, has been reported to have an antiepileptic profile. An excessive release of glutamate is considered to be related to neuropathology of epilepsy. We investigated whether hispidulin affected endogenous glutamate release in rat cerebral cortex nerve terminals (synaptosomes) and explored the possible mechanism. Hispidulin inhibited the release of glutamate evoked by the K⁺ channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4-AP). The effects of hispidulin on the evoked glutamate release were prevented by the chelation of extracellular Ca²⁺ ions and the vesicular transporter inhibitor bafilomycin A1. However, the glutamate transporter inhibitor dl-threo-beta-benzyl-oxyaspartate did not have any effect on hispidulin action. Hispidulin reduced the depolarization-induced increase in cytosolic free Ca²⁺ concentration ([Ca²⁺](C)), but did not alter 4-AP-mediated depolarization. Furthermore, the effect of hispidulin on evoked glutamate release was abolished by blocking the Ca(v)2.2 (N-type) and Ca(v)2.1 (P/Q-type) channels, but not by blocking ryanodine receptors or mitochondrial Na⁺/Ca²⁺ exchange. Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibition also prevented the inhibitory effect of hispidulin on evoked glutamate release. Western blot analyses showed that hispidulin decreased the 4-AP-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and synaptic vesicle-associated protein synapsin I, a major presynaptic substrate for ERK; this decrease was also blocked by the MEK inhibitor. Moreover, the inhibition of glutamate release by hispidulin was strongly attenuated in mice without synapsin I. These results show that hispidulin inhibits glutamate release from cortical synaptosomes in rats through the suppression of presynaptic voltage-dependent Ca²⁺ entry and ERK/synapsin I signaling pathway.