Neoechinulin a impedes the progression of rotenone-induced cytotoxicity in PC12 cells

Soichiro Akashi, Tomonori Kimura, Toshifumi Takeuchi, Kouji Kuramochi, Susumu Kobayashi, Fumio Sugawara, Nobuo Watanabe, Takao Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Neoechinulin A, an indole alkaloid from marine fungi, can protect PC12 cells from the cytotoxicity of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), a Parkinson disease-inducing neurotoxin, by ameliorating downstream events resulting from mitochondrial complex I inactivation. However, the cytoprotective mechanisms remained unclear. In this study, by using rotenone, another parkinsonian-inducing neurotoxin targeting mitochondrial complex I, we investigated the cytoprotective mechanism of neoechinulin A. Rotenone-induced cell death was associated with accelerated glucose consumption, and excess glucose supplementation in the culture medium almost completely suppressed cell death, suggesting that glucose deficiency in the medium is critical for triggering cell death in this model. Co-treatment with neoechinulin A, but not neoechinulin A pre-treatment before rotenone exposure, significantly impeded cell death by rotenone. Although the presence of neoechinulin A did not affect the accelerated glycolytic turnover in rotenone-treated cells, it paradoxically decreased ATP levels in the cells, suggesting increased ATP consumption. Although the link between the decreased ATP levels and cytoprotection is not clear at present, it suggests that neoechinulin A may ameliorate rotenone toxicity by activating a cytoprotective machinery that requires ATP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Alkaloid
  • Mitochondria
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Parkinson disease
  • Reactive nitrogen species
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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