Methylene blue protects astrocytes against glucose oxygen deprivation by improving cellular respiration

Gourav Roy Choudhury, Ali Winters, Ryan M. Rich, Myoung Gwi Ryou, Zygmunt Gryczynski, Fang Yuan, Shao Hua Yang, Ran Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Astrocytes outnumber neurons and serve many metabolic and trophic functions in the mammalian brain. Preserving astrocytes is critical for normal brain function as well as for protecting the brain against various insults. Our previous studies have indicated that methylene blue (MB) functions as an alternative electron carrier and enhances brain metabolism. In addition, MB has been shown to be protective against neurodegeneration and brain injury. In the current study, we investigated the protective role of MB in astrocytes. Cell viability assays showed that MB treatment significantly protected primary astrocytes from oxygenglucose deprivation (OGD) & reoxygenation induced cell death. We also studied the effect of MB on cellular oxygen and glucose metabolism in primary astrocytes following OGD-reoxygenation injury. MB treatment significantly increased cellular oxygen consumption, glucose uptake and ATP production in primary astrocytes. In conclusion our study demonstrated that MB protects astrocytes against OGD-reoxygenation injury by improving astrocyte cellular respiration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0123096
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
StatePublished - 7 Apr 2015


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