Protective Effect of Calendula officinalis L. Flowers Against Monosodium Glutamate Induced Oxidative Stress and Excitotoxic Brain Damage in Rats

Indian J Clin Biochem. 2013 Jul;28(3):292-8. doi: 10.1007/s12291-012-0256-1. Epub 2012 Sep 26.


Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a popular flavour enhancer used in food industries; however, excess MSG is neurotoxic. Oxidative stress is well documented in MSG induced neurotoxicity. The compounds having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties reportedly possess beneficial effects against various neurotoxic insults. Calendula officinalis Linn. flower extract (COE) is known for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Hence, this present study has been designed to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of COE on MSG-induced neurotoxicity in rats. Adult Wistar rats were administered systemically for 7 days with MSG and after one h of MSG injection, rats were treated with COE (100 and 200 mg/kg) orally. At the end the treatment period, animals were assessed for locomotor activity and were sacrificed; brains were isolated for estimation of LPO, GSH, CAT, TT, GST, Nitrite and histopathological studies. MSG caused a significant alteration in animal behavior, oxidative defense (raised levels of LPO, nitrite concentration, depletion of antioxidant levels) and hippocampal neuronal histology. Treatment with COE significantly attenuated behavioral alterations, oxidative stress, and hippocampal damage in MSG-treated animals. Hence, this study demonstrates that COE protects against MSG-induced neurotoxicity in rats. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of COE may be responsible for its observed neuroprotective action.

Keywords: Excitotoxicity; MSG; Marigold; Neuroprotective; Nitrative stress; Oxidative stress.