We recently reported that two water-soluble derivatives of ferulic acid (1-feruloyl glycerol, 1-feruloyl diglycerol) previously developed by our group exhibited protective effects against amyloid-β–induced neurodegeneration in vitro and in vivo. In the current study, we aimed to further understand this process by examining the derivatives’ ability to suppress abnormal activation of astrocytes, the key event of neurodegeneration. We investigated the effects of ferulic acid (FA) derivatives on nitric oxide (NO) production and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in rat primary astrocytes. The results showed that these compounds inhibited NO production and iNOS expression in a concentration-dependent manner and that the mechanism underlying these effects was the suppression of the nuclear factor-κB pathway. This evidence suggests that FA and its derivatives may be effective neuroprotective agents and could be useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
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