Neuroprotective effect of Rhodiola rosea Linn against MPTP induced cognitive impairment and oxidative stress

Ann Neurosci. 2013 Apr;20(2):47-51. doi: 10.5214/ans.0972.7531.200204.


Background: Ageing and age-related neurodegenerative changes including Parkinson's disease are characterized by an important role of reactive oxygen species. It is characterized by signs of major oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage in the pars compacta of substantia nigra.

Purpose: Present study was designed to investigate whether Rhodiola rosea extract would prevent MPTP induced neurotoxicity in Male wistar rats.

Methods: Male Wistar rats were divided into following five groups: Group I received vehicle (saline (10 ml/kg for 21 days) orally); Group II received Rhodiola rosea extract (250 mg/kg for 21 days) orally; Group III was treated with 20 mg/kg MPTP i.p. for 21 days; Group IV received 20 mg/kg MPTP, i.p. along with 100 mg/kg Rhodiola rosea orally for 21 days. Group V received 20 mg/kg MPTP i.p. along with 250 mg/kg Rhodiola rosea orally for 21 days.

Results: MPTP induced rats showed behavioral alterations in elevated plus maze testing. Group III rats elicited significant increase in lipid hydroperoxide along with reduction in level of glutathione peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase and total antioxidants. Histological evidence revealed that MPTP treated rats shown pathological changes like cellular inflammation and vascular degeneration in brain tissue.

Conclusion: The oxidative stress and related biochemical alteration by MPTP were attenuated by Rhodiola rosea treatment. However, further studies may be necessary to elucidate the precise mechanism to support the clinical use of a plant source as antiparkinsonism drug.

Keywords: MPTP; Neurotoxicity; Oxidative stress; Parkinson’s disease; Rhodiola rosea.