Protective effect of cinnamaldehyde against glutamate-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in PC12 cells
Cinnamaldehyde is a main ingredient of cinnamon oils from the stem bark of Cinnamomum cassia, which has been widely used in food and traditional herbal medicine in Asia. In the present study, the neuroprotective effects and the potential mechanisms of cinnamaldehyde against glutamate-induced oxidative stress in PC12 cells were investigated. Exposure to 4 mM glutamate altered the GSH, MDA levels and SOD activity, caused the generation of reactive oxygen species, resulted in the induction of oxidative stress in PC12 cell, ultimately induced cell death. However, pretreatment with cinnamaldehyde at 5, 10 and 20 μM significantly attenuated cell viability loss, reduced the generation of reactive oxygen species, stabilised mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), decreased the release of cytochrome c and limited the activities of caspase-9 and -3. In addition, cinnamaldehyde also markedly increased Bcl-2 while inhibiting Bax expression, and decreased the LC3-II/LC3-I ratio. These results indicate that cinnamaldehyde exists a potential protective effect against glutamate-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in PC12 cells.