Pharmacological Effects of Glycyrrhiza spp. and Its Bioactive Constituents: Update and Review.
Licorice, the root of the Glycyrrhiza species ( Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisher), is known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antitumor properties. The objective of this study is to explore the neuroprotective effect of dehydroglyasperin C (DGC) against glutamate-induced oxidative stress in mouse hippocampal HT22 cells. DGC significantly reduced cytotoxicity and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation induced by glutamate in HT22 cells, whereas DGC did not restore glutathione depletion caused by glutamate. In addition, it was further investigated whether DGC affected the expression of heme oxygenase (HO)-1, one of the major cellular antioxidant defense systems, and it was found that DGC dose-dependently increased HO-1 expression. DGC-mediated cytoprotection of HT22 neuronal cells from glutamate insult was abrogated by either HO-1 inhibitor (Tin protoporphyrin, SnPP) or AKT inhibitor (LY294002). In conclusion, the present results demonstrate for the first time that DGC protects neuronal cells against glutamate-induced oxidative injury through the induction of HO-1 expression, which is, in turn, activated maybe through Nrf2-Keap1 and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways.