Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 584–593 | Cite as

Glycyrrhizic Acid Ameliorates Mitochondrial Function and Biogenesis Against Aluminum Toxicity in PC12 Cells

  • Marzieh Rashedinia
  • Jamileh Saberzadeh
  • Tannaz Khosravi Bakhtiari
  • Solmaz Hozhabri
  • Rita ArabsolgharEmail author
Original Article


Glycyrrhizic acid (GA) is the most effective ingredient in the root of licorice, with important pharmacological effects. We investigate the effects of GA on mitochondrial function and biogenesis in the aluminum toxicity in PC12 cell line. After pretreatment of PC12 cells with different concentrations of GA (5–100 μM), and specific concentration of aluminum maltolate (Almal,1000 μM) for 48 h, cell viability, reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), mitochondria mass, cytochrome c oxidase enzyme activity, and the ATP level of the cells were measured. The expression mRNA level of PGC-1α, NRF1, NRF2, and TFAM was confirmed by the real-time PCR quantitative method. The results showed that low concentrations of GA protected Almal-induced cell death in 48 h. It was also observed that GA reduced the ROS production and increased the ATP level. The activity of cytochrome c oxidase enzyme and also decrease of MMP were improved. In addition, GA significantly increased the expression of mitochondrial genes and mass against aluminum toxicity. GA can exert its protective effect against the toxicity of Almal through maintaining mitochondrial function and subsequently increasing energy metabolism and mitochondrial biogenesis. GA as a natural product can be considered as a supplement in neurodegenerative disease.


Glycyrrhizic acid Aluminum toxicity Mitochondrial biogenesis ATP level PC12 cell 



In this project, the instrumental facilities provided by Diagnostic Laboratory Sciences and Technology Research Center of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences is greatly acknowledged.

The authors wish to thank Mr. H. Argasi at the Research Consultation Center (RCC) of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences for his invaluable assistance in editing this manuscript. This article extracted from the thesis written by Tannaz Khosravi Bakhtiari and Solmaz Hozhabri.

Funding information

This investigation was financially supported by the Vice Chancellor of Research Affairs of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (Grant No.95-01-36-13362).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of PharmacyShiraz University of Medical ScienceShirazIran
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Sciences and Diagnostic Laboratory Sciences and Technology Research Center, Paramedical SchoolShiraz University of Medical SciencesShirazIran

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