Activation of Nrf2 Pathway Contributes to Neuroprotection by the Dietary Flavonoid Tiliroside

Ravikanth Velagapudi, Abdelmeneim El-Bakoush, Olumayokun Olajide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Hyperactivated microglia plays a key role in regulating neuroinflammatory responses which cause damage to neurons. In recent years, substantial attention has been paid in identifying new strategies to abrogate neuroinflammation. Tiliroside, a natural dietary glycosidic flavonoid, is known to inhibit neuroinflammation. This study was aimed at investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in the inhibition of neuroinflammation and neurotoxicity by tiliroside. The effects of tiliroside on Nrf2 and SIRT1 activities in BV2 microglia and HT22 hippocampal neurons were investigated using immunoblotting and DNA binding assays. The roles of Nrf2 and SIRT1 in the anti-inflammatory activity of tiliroside were further investigated using RNA interference experiments. HT22 neuronal viability was determined by XTT, calcium influx, DNA fragmentation assays. The effect of tiliroside on MAP2 protein expression in HT22 neurons was investigated using western blotting and immunofluorescence. We also studied the impact of tiliroside on DNA fragmentation and ROS generation in APPSwe-transfected 3D neuronal stem cells. Results show that tiliroside increased protein levels of Nrf2, HO-1 and NQO1, indicating an activation of the Nrf2 protective mechanisms in the microglia. Furthermore, transfection of BV2 cells with Nrf2 siRNA resulted in the loss of anti-inflammatory activity by tiliroside. Tiliroside reduced protein levels of acetylated-NF-κB-p65, and increased SIRT1 in LPS/IFNγ-activated BV2 microglia. RNAi experiments revealed that inhibition of neuroinflammation by tiliroside was not affected by silencing SIRT1 gene. Results of neurotoxicity experiments revealed that neuroinflammation-induced toxicity, DNA fragmentation, ROS generation and calcium accumulation in HT22 neurons were significantly reduced by tiliroside treatment. In addition, the compound also protected differentiated human neural progenitor cells by blocking ROS generation and DNA fragmentation. Overall, this study has established that tiliroside protected BV2 microglia from LPS/IFNγ-induced neuroinflammation and HT22 neuronal toxicity by targeting Nrf2 antioxidant mechanisms. The compound also produced inhibition of NF-κB acetylation through activation of SIRT1, as well as increasing SIRT1 activity in mouse hippocampal neurons. Results from this study have further established the mechanisms involved in the anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective activities of tiliroside.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8103-8123
Number of pages21
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number10
Early online date5 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


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