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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 429384, 11 pages
Original Article

San-Huang-Xie-Xin-Tang Protects against Activated Microglia- and 6-OHDA-Induced Toxicity in Neuronal SH-SY5Y Cells

1Graduate Institute of Natural Products, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
2Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan

Received 21 July 2008; Accepted 3 March 2009

Copyright © 2011 Yu-Tzu Shih et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


San-Huang-Xie-Xin-Tang (SHXT), composed of Coptidis rhizoma, Scutellariae radix and Rhei rhizoma, is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine used to treat gastritis, gastric bleeding and peptic ulcers. This study investigated the neuroprotective effects of SHXT on microglia-mediated neurotoxicity using co-cultured lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated microglia-like BV-2 cells with neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Effects of SHXT on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced neurotoxicity were also examined in SH-SY5Y cells. Results indicated SHXT inhibited LPS-induced inflammation of BV-2 cells by downregulation of iNOS, NO, COX-2, PGE2, gp91phox, iROS, TNF-α, IL-1β, inhibition of IκBα degradation and upregulation of HO-1. In addition, SHXT increased cell viability and down regulated nNOS, COX-2 and gp91phox of SH-SY5Y cells co-cultured with LPS activated BV-2 cells. SHXT treatment increased cell viability and mitochondria membrane potential (MMP), decreased expression of nNOS, COX-2, gp91phox and iROS, and inhibited IκBα degradation in 6-OHDA-treated SH-SY5Y cells. SHXT also attenuated LPS activated BV-2 cells- and 6-OHDA-induced cell death in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells with db-cAMP. Furthermore, SHXT-inhibited nuclear translocation of p65 subunit of NF-κB in LPS treated BV-2 cells and 6-OHDA treated SH-SY5Y cells. In conclusion, SHXT showed protection from activated microglia- and 6-OHDA-induced neurotoxicity by attenuating inflammation and oxidative stress.