Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most important neurodegenerative worldwide disorders. The potential cytoprotective effects of aqueous extract of Valeriana officinalis on rotenone-induced apoptosis in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells were demonstrated. The cytotoxicity, cell viability and analysis of cellular morphology were performed by MTT-tetrazole (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay and phase contrast microscopy, respectively. Significant changes in the cellular morphology, and condensation of the cell body could be observed when cells were treated with 300 nM rotenone for 48 h. Three different concentrations of Valeriana officinalis extract were used (0.049, 0.098 and 0.195 mg/mL). These extracts brought about an increase of 7.0 +/- 1.3%, 14.5 +/- 1.3% and 14.5 +/- 3.2% in cell viability. Our results indicated that neuroprotector action of the Valeriana officinalis extract provides support for later studies as they help understanding this drug for the development of cytoprotective various therapies in PD.