This study investigated the neuroprotective effects of methyl 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate (MDHB) against t-butylhydroperoxide(TBHP) induced oxidative damage in SH-SY5Y (human neuroblastoma cells) and the underlying mechanisms. SH-SY5Y were cultured in DMEM+10% FBS for 24 hours and pretreated with different concentrations of MDHB or N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) for 4 hours prior to the addition of 40 μM TBHP for 24 hours. Cell viability was analyzed using the methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays. An annexin V-FITC assay was used to detect cell apoptosis rate. The 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA) assay was used to determine intracellular ROS levels. The activities of antioxidative enzymes (GSH-Px and SOD) were measured using commercially available kits. The oxidative DNA damage marker 8-OHdG was detected using ELISA. Western blotting was used to determine the expression of Bcl-2, Bax, caspase 3, p-Akt and Akt proteins in treated SH-SY5Y cells. Our results showed that MDHB is an effective neuroprotective compound that can mitigate oxidative stress and inhibit apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells
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