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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4730878, 12 pages
Research Article

trans-Cinnamaldehyde Inhibits Microglial Activation and Improves Neuronal Survival against Neuroinflammation in BV2 Microglial Cells with Lipopolysaccharide Stimulation

1Department of Physiology, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1200 Cailun Road, Shanghai 201203, China
2Department of Clinical and Classic Medicine, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1200 Cailun Road, Shanghai 201203, China
3South China Research Center for Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Medical College of Acu-Moxi and Rehabilitation, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, 232 Waihuan Dong Road, Guangzhou 510006, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Ying Xu and Yongjun Chen

Received 8 May 2017; Revised 3 September 2017; Accepted 19 September 2017; Published 22 October 2017

Academic Editor: Eman Al-Sayed

Copyright © 2017 Yan Fu 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.


Background. Microglial activation contributes to neuroinflammation and neuronal damage in neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. It has been suggested that neurodegenerative disorders may be improved if neuroinflammation can be controlled. trans-cinnamaldehyde (TCA) isolated from the stem bark of Cinnamomum cassia possesses potent anti-inflammatory capability; we thus tested whether TCA presents neuroprotective effects on improving neuronal survival by inhibiting neuroinflammatory responses in BV2 microglial cells. Results. To determine the molecular mechanism behind TCA-mediated neuroprotective effects, we assessed the effects of TCA on lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced proinflammatory responses in BV2 microglial cells. While LPS potently induced the production and expression upregulation of proinflammatory mediators, including NO, iNOS, COX-2, IL-1β, and TNF-α, TCA pretreatment significantly inhibited LPS-induced production of NO and expression of iNOS, COX-2, and IL-1β and recovered the morphological changes in BV2 cells. TCA markedly attenuated microglial activation and neuroinflammation by blocking nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway. With the aid of microglia and neuron coculture system, we showed that TCA greatly reduced LPS-elicited neuronal death and exerted neuroprotective effects. Conclusions. Our results suggest that TCA, a natural product, has the potential of being used as a therapeutic agent against neuroinflammation for ameliorating neurodegenerative disorders.