The Role of Mitochondria in Brain Cell Protection from Ischaemia by Differently Prepared Propolis Extracts
Mitochondria are both the primary targets and mediators of ischaemic damage in brain cells. Insufficient oxygen causes reactive oxygen species that damage the mitochondria, leading to the loss of functionality and viability of highly energy-demanding neurons. We have recently found that aqueous (AqEP), polyethylene glycol-aqueous (Pg-AqEP) and ethanolic propolis extracts (EEP) can modulate mitochondria and ROS production in C6 cells of astrocytic origin. The aim of this study was to investigate
... was to investigate the effect of the extracts on viability, mitochondrial efficiency and superoxide generation, and inflammatory cytokine release in primary rat cerebellar neuronal-glial cell cultures affected by ischaemia (mimicked by hypoxia +/− deoxyglucose). AqEP and Pg-AqEP (15–60 µg/mL of phenolic compounds, or PC) significantly increased neuronal viability in ischaemia-treated cultures, and this was accompanied by a reduction in mitochondrial superoxide levels. Less extended protection against ischaemia-induced superoxide production and death was exhibited by 2 to 4 µg/mL of PC EEP. Both Pg-AqEP and Ag-EP (but not EEP) significantly protected the cultures from hypoxia-induced elevation of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6. Only Pg-AqEP (but not AqEP or EEP) prevented hypoxia-induced loss of the mitochondrial basal and ATP-coupled respiration rate, and significantly increased the mitochondrial respiratory capacity. Summarising, the study revealed that hydrophilic propolis extracts might protect brain cells against ischaemic injury by decreasing the level of mitochondrial superoxide and preventing inflammatory cytokines, and, in the case of Pg-AqEP, by protecting mitochondrial function.