Idebenone protects hippocampal neurons against amyloid beta-peptide-induced neurotoxicity in rat primary cultures.

Hirai K, Hayako H, Kato K, Miyamoto M.

Pharmaceutical Research Division,
Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd., Osaka, Japan
Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 1998 Nov;358(5):582-5


The application of amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) 1-40 (10 microM) caused neurodegeneration of hippocampal neuronal cells, as indicated by the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) into the culture medium. Treatment with idebenone (10-1000 nM), a potent antioxidant in mitochondria, protected the hippocampal neurons against the Abeta1-40(10 microM)-induced neurotoxicity. To determine the morphological change in neurons during the Abeta1-40-induced cytotoxicity, the cells were immunostained with anti-MAP2 antibodies. After 4-day exposure to 10 microM Abeta1-40, the number of neurons was reduced, and the surviving neurons had an apparently reduced number of neurites which were shorter than those of control neurons. When idebenone was added to the culture medium with Abeta1-40, the number of surviving neurons was significantly increased, and their neurites were as long as seen in control culture. These results suggest that reactive oxygen species mediate neurotoxicity of Abeta1-40, and idebenone protects neurons against the Abeta1-40-induced neurotoxicity.