Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2019; 24(6): 870-875  
Evaluation of the Effect of C-phycocyanin on Cultured Rat Primary Hippocampal Astrocytes Undergoing Trophic Factor Deprivation
Su Jin Yoon1,†, Jung Il Choi1,†, Seul Ki Min2,*, and Hwa Sung Shin1,*
1Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University, Incheon 22212, Korea
2Division of Polar Life Science, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon 21990, Korea
Correspondence to: Hwa Sung Shin*
Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University, Incheon 22212, Korea
Tel: +82-32-860-9221; Fax: +82-32-872-4046
E-mail: hsshin@inha.ac.kr
Seul Ki Min*
Division of Polar Life Science, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon 21990, Korea
Tel: +82-32-760-5554; Fax: +82-32-760-5509
E-mail: skmin@kopri.re.kr

These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: March 20, 2019; Revised: August 1, 2019; Accepted: August 7, 2019; Published online: December 31, 2019.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
Hippocampal astrocytes play a pivotal role in hippocampal functions. However, trophic factor deprivation during brain injury or neurodegenerative diseases leads to abnormal functions. C-phycocyanin (C-Pc) is an antioxidant compound derived from Spirulina. C-Pc has been studied as a neuroprotectant against brain damage and diseases, however, its effects on hippocampal astrocytes cultured under trophic factor deprivation are unclear. Presently, serum deprivation lowered the metabolic activities, decreasing NADPH diaphorase activity, and decreased production of superoxide dismutase in astrocytes. These effects were reversed after C-Pc treatment. The upregulated NADPH diaphorase activity in activated astrocytes resulted in the increased production of nitric oxide, which protected the hippocampal astrocytes from the harsh trophic factor-deprived environment.
Keywords: hippocampal astrocyte, trophic factor deprivation, NADPH diaphorase, C-phycocyanin, superoxide dismutase, nitric oxide


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