Neuroprotective effects of Rhodiola rosea extracts against excitotoxicity and oxygen-glucose deprivation in hippocampal slice cultures

Jan Bert Gramsbergen, Jeanne Sindberg, Louise Lundberg, Rime Bahij El-Houri, Kathrine Bisgaard Christensen, Kai Grevsen, Lars Porskjær Christensen, Jens Zimmer

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The medical plant Rhodiola rosea (roseroot, golden root) is known as a stimulant of mental and physical endurance, increasing resistance to chemical, biological, psychological and physical stressors. Extracts of R. rosea roots contain ?avonoids, phenolic acids, phenylethanol derivatives (e.g. salidroside) and phenylpropanoid glycosides (e.g. rosavin). Many of these compounds are considered potent antioxidants, but the significance of the various substances for the beneficial effects of roseroot is still largely unknown.
Here we tested the neuroprotective effects of crude methanolic extracts of R. rosea roots (Clone 5, Pharmaplant, Germany, grown for four years) as well as chemical fractions and/or purified compounds (e.g. salidrosid, rosavin) against excitotoxicity and ischemia-like brain damage using organotypic hippocampal slice cultures.
Hippocampal slice cultures derived from 8 days old rat pups were grown for 2-3 weeks before exposure to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA, 10 µM, 24 h) or oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD, 30 or 35 min), with and without presence of R. rosea extracts or compounds during and 24 h after the insult. NMDA- or OGD-induced neuronal cell death was monitored and quantified by propidium iodide uptake and immunohistochemical staining for MAP2 as a neuronal marker.
Significant and dose-dependent protection against NMDA and OGD-induced CA1 pyramidal cell death was obtained by crude extracts using 250 µg/ml (33-50% protection) or 500 µg/ml (45-65% protection). A number of chemical fractions of methanolic Rhodiola extracts, as well as the purified constituents salidrosid and rosavin were tested, but - so far - none of the tested fractions or single constituents showed protection against NMDA or OGD. To study the mechanisms of action of R. rosea extracts, we are currently performing micro array microRNA and gene analyses of treated cultures.
Supported by the Danish Strategic Research Council.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date16. Jul 2012
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 16. Jul 2012
Event8th FENS Forum of Neuroscience - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 14. Jul 201218. Jul 2012


Conference8th FENS Forum of Neuroscience

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