Neuroprotective effect of Artemisia absinthium L. on focal ischemia and reperfusion-induced cerebral injury

J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jun 16;129(3):403-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.04.030. Epub 2010 May 6.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Artemisia absinthium L. has long been used as traditional herbal medicine in China, Europe and Pakistan for the treatment of gastric pain, cardiac stimulation, to improve memory and for the restoration of declining mental function.

Aim of the study: The present study was designed to investigate the potential protective effects of Artemisia absinthium on cerebral oxidative stress and damage as well as behavioral disturbances induced by cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury in rats.

Materials and methods: Focal ischemia and reperfusion were induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 90 min, followed by 24 h reperfusion. MCAO led to significant rise in infarct size and lipid peroxidation, and depletion in glutathione content, superoxide dismutase and catalase activity in brain. Further, behavioral deficits like motor incoordination and impairment of short-term memory were also significantly impaired by MCAO as compared with sham group.

Results: The brain oxidative stress and damage, and behavioral deficits were significantly attenuated by pre-treatment with the methanol extract of Artemisia absinthium (100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg, p.o.).

Conclusion: These findings suggested that Artemisia absinthium is neuroprotective and may prove to be useful adjunct in the treatment of stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artemisia absinthium / chemistry*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Brain Ischemia / metabolism
  • Brain Ischemia / psychology
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / drug therapy
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / metabolism
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / psychology
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Neuroprotective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plant Components, Aerial / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy*
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / psychology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione