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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2013, Article ID 685909, 12 pages
Research Article

Neuroprotective Effects of a Variety of Pomegranate Juice Extracts against MPTP-Induced Cytotoxicity and Oxidative Stress in Human Primary Neurons

1Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2031, Australia
2Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 50, Muscat 123, Oman
3Ageing and Dementia Research Group, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 50, Muscat 123, Oman
4College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 50, Muscat 123, Oman
5Neuropharmacology Group, MND and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Group, Australian School of Advanced Medicine (ASAM), Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia

Received 20 June 2013; Revised 2 August 2013; Accepted 2 August 2013

Academic Editor: Tullia Maraldi

Copyright © 2013 Nady Braidy 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.


1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) is an environmental toxin which selectively induces oxidative damage and mitochondrial and proteasomal dysfunctions to dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra leading to Parkinsonian syndrome in animal models and humans. MPTP is one of the most widely used in vitro models to investigate the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) and, screen for novel therapeutic compounds that can slow down or ameliorate this progressive degenerative disease. We investigated the therapeutic effect of pomegranate juice extracts (PJE), Helow, Malasi, Qusum, and Hamadh against MPTP-induced neurotoxicity in primary human neurons by examining extracellular LDH activity, intracellular NAD+ and ATP levels, and endogenous antioxidant levels including lipid peroxidation products, catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities, and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels. MPTP induced a reduction in SOD and GPx activities and intracellular NAD+, ATP, and GSH levels parallel to an increase in extracellular LDH and CAT activities, although lipid peroxidation was not altered. We report that helow and malasi can ameliorate MPTP-induced neurotoxicity by attenuating the observed changes in redox function to a greater extent than qusum and hamedh. Selected PJE varieties may exhibit properties which may be of therapeutic value to slow down age-related degeneration and neurodegeneration in particular.