Volume 32 (2009) Issue 7 Pages 1220-1223
Accumulation of unfolding or misfolded proteins within the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) triggers ER stress, and sustained ER stress ultimately leads to cell death. Both of these events are involved in the activation of glucose-regulated protein of 78 kDa (GRP78, also known as Bip), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) homologous protein (CHOP, also known as growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible gene 153 (GADD153)), and caspase-12. ER stress has been shown to be involved in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, and polyglutamine diseases. We previously showed that genipin, a natural iridoid compound, has a protective effect against amyloid-β (Aβ)-induced cytotoxicity. Here, we studied the protective effects of genipin on cytotoxicity induced in Neuro2a cells by the specific ER stress inducer tunicamycin (TM). TM treatment significantly reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. Genipin dramatically rescued the cells against TM-induced cell death. In addition, genipin suppressed ER stress-induced upregulation of CHOP and GRP78. These data suggest that genipin is effective at protecting against neurodegenerative disorders.