The antioxidant and neurochemical activity of Apium graveolens L. and its ameliorative effect on MPTP-induced Parkinson-like symptoms in mice

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Mar 20;18(1):103. doi: 10.1186/s12906-018-2166-0.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Apium / chemistry*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Monoamine Oxidase / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / chemistry
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Parkinson Disease* / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease* / physiopathology
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Monoamine Oxidase