The neuroprotective effects of an extract of Gastrodia elata

Chung Fen Tsai, Chuen Lin Huang, Yun Lian Lin, Yi Chao Lee, Ying Chen Yang, Nai Kuei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Gastrodia elata (GE) Blume (family Orchidaceae) is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine for treating headaches, dizziness, tetanus, and epilepsy, indicating neuronal protective functions. Aim of the study: To evaluate the neuroprotection of GE and its molecular mechanism in preventing serum deprivation-induced PC12 cell apoptosis. Materials and methods: An MTT assay and Hoechst staining were used to respectively validate serum deprivation-induced cell death and apoptosis. Cyclic (c)AMP formation and protein kinase (PK)A activity were also measured after GE treatment. Western blotting was used to detect the phosphorylation of the cAMP response element-binding (CREB) protein. Transient transfection of a dominant negative CREB was used to validate the importance of CREB. Results: GE targeted the adenosine A 2A receptor (A 2A-R). GE increased cAMP formation, PKA activity, and phosphorylation of the CREB protein. GE-induced CREB protein phosphorylation and protection was blocked by a PKA inhibitor and overexpression of the dominant negative CREB, respectively. Conclusions: These results support the neuroprotective effects of GE. The protective mechanism might be mediated through an A 2A-R/cAMP/PKA/CREB-dependent pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2011


  • A -R
  • Apoptosis
  • CREB
  • Gastrodia elata
  • PKA
  • Pheochromocytoma cells
  • cAMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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