DOI: 10.1007/s12640-017-9748-3 Pages: 368-380

Evaluation of the Protective Effects of Sarains on H2O2-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Stress in SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells

1. Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Veterinaria

2. Géoazur UMR Université Nice Sophia Antipolis

3. National University of Ireland Galway, Marine Biodiscovery, School of Chemistry

Correspondence to:
Luis M. Botana
Tel: +34982822233



Sarains are diamide alkaloids isolated from the Mediterranean sponge Haliclona (Rhizoniera) sarai that have previously shown antibacterial, insecticidal and anti-fouling activities. In this study, we examined for the first time the neuroprotective effects of sarains 1, 2 and A against oxidative stress in a human neuronal model. SH-SY5Y cells were co-incubated with sarains at concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 10 μM, and the well-known oxidant hydrogen peroxide at 150 μM for 6 h and the protective effects of the compounds were evaluated. Among the sarains tested, sarain A was the most promising compound, improving mitochondrial function and decreasing reactive oxygen species levels in human neuroblastoma cells treated with the compound at 0.01, 0.1 and 1 μM. This compound was also able to increase the activity of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutases by inducing the translocation of the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) to the nucleus at the lower concentrations tested (0.01 and 0.1 μM). Moreover, sarain A at 0.1 and 1 μM blocked the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening through cyclophilin D inhibition. These results suggest that the protective effects produced by the treatment with sarain A are related with its ability to block the mPTP and to enhance the Nrf2 pathway, indicating that sarain A may be a candidate compound for further studies in neurodegenerative diseases.

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  • Accepted: Apr 25, 2017
  • Online: May 6, 2017
  • Revised: Apr 19, 2017

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