Neuroprotective effect of fermented papaya preparation by activation of Nrf2 pathway in astrocytes

Shinki Murakami, Ikuko Miyazaki, Masato Asanuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) in astrocyte plays important roles in brain homeostasis. Fermented papaya preparation (FPP) has anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory properties. The present study investigated the effects of FPP on activation of Nrf2 and release of Nrf2-regulated neuroprotective antioxidants and detoxifying molecules. Methods: Primary cultured astrocytes from rat embryos were treated with FPP for 6 or 24 hours. The expression levels of nuclear Nrf2 and cytoplasmic Nrf2-regulated molecules were determined by western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. Glutathione levels were measured in cells and medium. Dopaminergic neurons were exposed 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) with/without pre-treatment with FPP astrocytes. Mice were treated orally with FPP for 2 weeks. Results: FPP increased nuclear translocation of Nrf2 in striatal astrocytes, induced up-regulation of NAD(P)H quinine oxidoreductase-1, glutathione-S transferase and hemeoxygenase-1, and increased glutathione level and the percentage of metallothionein-expressing astrocytes. Moreover, FPP suppressed 6-OHDA-induced dopaminergic neuronal loss in not only neuron-astrocyte mixed culture, but also neuron-rich cultures pre-treated with glial conditioned medium. Two-week oral treatment of mice with FPP resulted in Nrf2 activation and increase in glutathione level in striatum. Discussion: The results indicated that FPP enhances the anti-oxidative capacity through activation of Nrf2 in astrocytes, suggesting it may provide neuroprotection in oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-184
Number of pages9
JournalNutritional Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 16 2018


  • Astrocyte
  • Fermented papaya preparation
  • Nrf2
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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