Apium graveolens extract influences mood and cognition in healthy mice

J Nat Med. 2017 Jul;71(3):492-505. doi: 10.1007/s11418-017-1077-6. Epub 2017 Feb 15.


Apium graveolens is a food flavoring which possesses various health promoting effects. This study investigates the effect of a sub-acute administration of A. graveolens on cognition and anti-depression behaviors via antioxidant and related neurotransmitter systems in mice brains. Cognition and depression was assessed by various models of behavior. The antioxidant system of glutathione peroxidase (GPx), % inhibition of superoxide anion (O2-), and lipid peroxidation were studied. In addition, neurochemical parameters including acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and monoamine oxidase-type A (MAO-A) were also evaluated. Nine groups of male mice were fed for 30 days with different substances-a control, vehicle, A. graveolens extract (65-500 mg/kg), and reference drugs (donepezil and fluoxetine). The results indicated that the effect of the intake of A. graveolens extract (125-500 mg/kg) was similar to the reference drugs, as it improved both spatial and non-spatial memories. Moreover, there was a decrease in immobility time in both the forced swimming and tail suspension tests. In addition, the A. graveolens extract reduced lipid peroxidation of the brain and increased GPx activity and the % inhibition of O2-, whereas the activities of AChE and MAO-A were decreased. Thus, our data have shown that the consumption of A. graveolens extract improved cognitive function and anti-depression activities as well as modulating the endogenous antioxidant and neurotransmitter systems in the brain, resulting in increased neuronal density. This result indicated an important role for A. graveolens extract in preventing age-associated decline in cognitive function associated with depression.

Keywords: A. graveolens; Cognition; Depression; MAO-A; Oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Apium*
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Depression / etiology
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Hindlimb Suspension
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Monoamine Oxidase / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Swimming


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Superoxides
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Monoamine Oxidase
  • Acetylcholinesterase