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Front. Mol. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2019.00041

The Dietary Flavonoid, Luteolin, Negatively Affects Neuronal Differentiation

 Amrutha Swaminathan1, Moumita Basu1, Abdelhamid Bekri2,  Pierre Drapeau2 and  Tapas K. Kundu1*
  • 1Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, India
  • 2University of Montreal Hospital Centre (CRCHUM), Canada

Luteolin, a polyphenolic plant flavonoid, has been attributed with numerous beneficial properties like anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. Luteolin has been reported earlier to be neuroprotective in models of spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury and also induces neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells. However, the effect of luteolin on early differentiation, which might be important for its beneficial effects, is unknown. In this report, we show that luteolin negatively affected early differentiation of embryonic stem cells, hampering the formation of embryoid bodies. At later stages of differentiation, luteolin specifically inhibited neuronal differentiation, where the number of cells expression of early neuronal markers were suppressed, whereas luteolin treatment did not inhibit expressions of meso- and endodermal markers. Further, in a developing zebrafish model, luteolin treatment led to fewer numbers of mitotic cells in the brain. These specific effects of luteolin on neuronal differentiation could be due to its ability to inhibit the lysine acetyltransferase, p300 since the structurally closely related p300 non-inhibitor flavonoid, apigenin, does not inhibit neuronal differentiation. These results show that luteolin perturbs neuronal differentiation of embryonic stem cells.

Keywords: Flavonoid, Embryonic stem cell (ES cell), neural differentiation, lysine acetyltransferase, Zebrafish

Received: 17 Oct 2018; Accepted: 01 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Francesco Bifari, University of Milan, Italy

Reviewed by:

Marcos R. Costa, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Anirban Basu, National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), India  

Copyright: © 2019 Swaminathan, Basu, Bekri, Drapeau and Kundu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Tapas K. Kundu, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, tapas@jncasr.ac.in