Background: Apium graveolens L. is a traditional Chinese medicine prescribed as a treatment for hypertension, gout, and diabetes. This study aimed to determine the neuroprotective effects of A. graveolens extract against a Parkinson's disease (PD) model induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) in C57BL/6 mice.
Methods: Male C57BL/6 mice treated with MPTP were orally dosed with A. graveolens extract daily for 21 days. Behavioral tests, including a rotarod apparatus, a narrow beam test, a drag test, a grid walk test, a swimming test, and a resting tremor evaluation, were performed. Thereafter, the mice were sacrificed, and monoamine oxidase A and B activity, lipid peroxidation activity, and superoxide anion levels were measured. Immunohistochemical staining of tyrosine hydroxylase was performed to identify dopaminergic neurons.
Results: We found that treatment with A. graveolens at dose of 375 mg/kg demonstrated the highest effect and led to significant improvements in behavioral performance, oxidative stress parameters, and monoamine oxidase A and B activity compared with the untreated group (p < 0.05). Moreover, the extract increased the number of neurons immunopositive for tyrosine hydroxylase expression compared with MPTP alone or MPTP with a positive control drug (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: We speculated that A. graveolens ameliorated behavioral performance by mediating neuroprotection against MPTP-induced PD via antioxidant effects, related neurotransmitter pathways and an increase in the number of dopaminergic neurons.
Keywords: A. graveolens; MPTP; Monoamine oxidase; Oxidative stress; Tidomet plus; Tyrosine hydroxylase.