Punica granatum protects against oxidative stress in PC12 cells and oxidative stress-induced Alzheimer's symptoms in mice

J Med Food. Jul-Aug 2011;14(7-8):695-701. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.1452. Epub 2011 Jun 1.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive degenerative brain disorder that is characterized by neuronal loss, neurofibrillary tangles, and the abnormal deposition of senile plaque and amyloid β peptide (Aβ). The brains of AD patients are under intense oxidative stress. The overproduction of Aβ leads to Aβ-associated free radical oxidative stress. In this study, the antioxidative and neuronal protective effects of Punica granatum extract were investigated against oxidative stress-induced cytotoxicity in PC12 cells. The ethanol extracts of P. granatum protected PC12 cells from hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂-induced oxidative stress. 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide reduction assays revealed a significant increase in cell viability when oxidatively stressed PC12 cells were treated with the P. granatum extract. To examine the effects of P. granatum on Aβ₁₋₄₂-induced learning and memory impairment in mice, in vivo behavioral tests were performed. Treatment with the extract of P. granatum increased step-through latency in mice injected with Aβ₁₋₄₂. The results of this study suggest that the ethanol extract of P. granatum mitigated H₂O₂-induced oxidative stress in PC12 cells. In addition, the extract inhibited neuronal cell death caused by Aβ-induced oxidative stress and Aβ-induced learning and memory deficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Lythraceae / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • PC12 Cells
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Protective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Protective Agents / adverse effects*
  • Rats


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • Hydrogen Peroxide