Bacopa monnieri (L.) wettst. Extract protects against glutamate toxicity and increases the longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans

J Tradit Complement Med. 2019 Oct 4;10(5):460-470. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2019.10.001. eCollection 2020 Sep.


Background: Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, cause a great deal of suffering for both patients and carers. Bacopa monnieri (L.) wettst. Is known for its memory-enhancing properties, and is of great interest in treating neurodegenerative disease.

Aims: This study aimed to evaluate B.monnieri against glutamate toxicity, and identify whether B.monnieri reduces mitochondrial and ER stress, as well as to measure B.monnieri's effect on the life span and aging of Caenorhabditis elegans. We hypothesized that B.monnieri would prevent cellular oxidative stress, prevent mitochondrial/ER stress, and increase the life span while reducing signs of aging in C.elegans.

Experimental procedures: Glutamate toxicity was measured using viable cell staining assays and the MTT assay. ROS and mitochondrial stress were assessed by H2DCFDA and Rodamine123 staining, with fluorescence/confocal microscopy. C.elegans' median and maximum life span were measured, in response to B.monnieri treatment, along with lipofuscin imaging to measure the health of the C.elegans population.

Results: B.monnieri hexane extract (but not ethanol extract) prevented the toxicity of 5 mM glutamate in HT-22 cells. We found that the mechanism involves the reduction of ROS production and the prevention of mitochondrial and ER stress. Furthermore, we showed that B.monnieri could increase the median and maximal lifespan of wild type C.elegans, maintain a younger appearing phenotype in the aged C.elegans.

Conclusions: In conclusion, B.monnieri prevents mitochondrial, and oxidative stress in the cultured cells. Furthermore, it can prolong the healthy lifespan of C.elegans, indicating that B.monnieri the potential for therapeutic and preventative use in neurodegenerative disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Bhumi; Cytoprotective; Herbal medicine; Neurodegeratative disease; Neuroprotective.