Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA), a phenolic acid, is ubiquitous in almost all parts of the plant. In the present study, a neuroinflammatory rat model using intranigral infusion of lipopolysaccharides (LPS, 4 μg/μL) was employed to study the neuroprotective effect of GA which was orally administered daily. Compared with the vehicle-treated rats, systemic administration of GA (100 mg/kg) significantly attenuated LPS-induced increases in glial fibrillary acidic protein (a biomarker of activated astrocytes) and ED-1 (a biomarker of activated microglia), as well as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS, a proinflammatory enzyme) and interleukin-1β (a proinflammatory cytokine), in the LPS-infused substantia nigra (SN) of rat brain. At the same time, GA attenuated LPS-induced elevation in heme oxygenase-1 level (a redox-regulated protein) and α-synuclein aggregation (a hallmark of CNS neurodegeneration), suggesting that GA is capable of inhibiting LPS-induced oxidative stress and protein conjugation. Furthermore, GA prevented LPS-induced caspase 3 activation (a biomarker of programmed cell death) and LPS-induced increases in receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIPK)-1 and RIPK-3 levels (biomarkers of necroptosis), indicating that GA inhibited LPS-induced apoptosis and necroptosis in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system of rat brain. Moreover, an in vitro study was employed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of GA on BV2 microglial cells which were subjected to LPS (1 μg/mL) treatment. Consistently, co-incubation of GA diminished LPS-induced increases in iNOS mRNA and iNOS protein expression in the treated BV-2 cells as well as NO production in the culture medium. The anti-oxidative activity of GA was evaluated using iron-induced lipid peroxidation of brain homogenates. After 3-h incubation at 37 °C, GA was more potent than glutathione and less potent than trolox in inhibiting iron-induced lipid peroxidation. Conclusively, the present study suggests that GA is anti-inflammatory via attenuating LPS-induced neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and protein conjugation. Furthermore, GA prevented LPS-induced programmed cell deaths of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons of the rat brain, suggesting that GA may be neuroprotective by attenuating neuroinflammation in CNS neurodegenerative diseases.
- Gallic acid
- Protein aggregation