Valeriana officinalis Extracts Ameliorate Neuronal Damage by Suppressing Lipid Peroxidation in the Gerbil Hippocampus Following Transient Cerebral Ischemia

J Med Food. 2015 Jun;18(6):642-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.3295. Epub 2015 Mar 18.


As a medicinal plant, the roots of Valeriana officinalis have been used as a sedative and tranquilizer. In the present study, we evaluated the neuroprotective effects of valerian root extracts (VE) on the hippocampal CA1 region of gerbils after 5 min of transient cerebral ischemia. Gerbils were administered VE orally once a day for 3 weeks, subjected to ischemia/reperfusion injury, and continued on VE for 3 weeks. The administration of 100 mg/kg VE (VE100 group) significantly reduced the ischemia-induced spontaneous motor hyperactivity 1 day after ischemia/reperfusion. Four days after ischemia/reperfusion, animals treated with VE showed abundant cresyl violet-positive neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region when compared to the vehicle or 25 mg/kg VE-treated groups. In addition, the VE treatment markedly decreased microglial activation in the hippocampal CA1 region 4 days after ischemia. Compared to the other groups, the VE100 group showed the lowest level of lipid peroxidation during the first 24 h after ischemia/reperfusion. In summary, the findings in this study suggest that pretreatment with VE has protective effects against ischemic injury in the hippocampal pyramidal neurons by decreasing microglial activation and lipid peroxidation.

Keywords: Valeriana officinalis; gerbil ischemia; hippocampus; lipid peroxidation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / drug effects
  • Gerbillinae
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / drug therapy*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / metabolism
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / pathology
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Microglia / drug effects
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Roots
  • Pyramidal Cells
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Valerian*


  • Antioxidants
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts