Fermented Mentha arvensis administration provides neuroprotection against transient global cerebral ischemia in gerbils and SH-SY5Y cells via downregulation of the MAPK signaling pathway

BMC Complement Med Ther. 2022 Jun 25;22(1):172. doi: 10.1186/s12906-022-03653-7.


Background: Globally, ischemic stroke is a major health threat to humans that causes lifelong disability and death. Mentha arvensis (MA) has been used in traditional medicine to alleviate oxidative stress and inflammation-related disorders. In the present study, the neuroprotective properties of fermented MA (FMA) extract were investigated in the gerbil and SH-SY5Y cells. model of transient global cerebral ischemia.

Methods: Bilateral common carotid artery occlusion-induced transient global cerebral ischemia in gerbil and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-mediated neurotoxic effects in human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y) were investigated. FMA (400 mg/kg) was orally administered for 7 days before induction of ischemic stroke. To evaluate the neuroprotective activity of FMA, we implemented various assays such as cell viability assay (MTT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay, histopathology, immunohistochemistry (IHC), histofluorescence, and western blot.

Results: FMA pretreatment effectively decreased transient ischemia (TI) induced neuronal cell death as well as activation of microglia and astrocytes in the hippocampal region. The protective effects of FMA extract against H2O2-induced cytotoxicity of SH-SY5Y cells were observed by MTT and LDH assay. However, FMA pretreatment significantly increased the expression of the antioxidant marker proteins such as superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD-1) and superoxide dismutase-2 (SOD-2) in the hippocampus and SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) further activated a cascade of outcomes such as neuroinflammation and apoptosis. FMA pretreatment notably decreased TI and H2O2 induced activation of MAPK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK), and p38) proteins in hippocampus and SH-SY5Y cells respectively. Besides, pretreatment with FMA markedly reduced H2O2 mediated Bax/Bcl2 expression in SH-SY5Y cells.

Conclusion: Thus, these results demonstrated that neuroprotective activities of FMA might contribute to regulating the MAPK signaling pathway.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Fermented Mentha arvensis (FMA); Ischemic stroke; MAPK; Neuroprotection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia* / drug therapy
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Down-Regulation
  • Gerbillinae / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Ischemic Stroke*
  • Mentha*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Neuroblastoma* / metabolism
  • Neuroblastoma* / pathology
  • Neuroprotection
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Plant Extracts
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases