Comparison of Neuroprotective Effects of Melissa officinalis Total Extract and Its Acidic and Non-Acidic Fractions against A β-Induced Toxicity

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Toxicology, School of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Toxicology, School of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that was characterized with deposit of beta amyloid (Aβ) aggregate in senile plaque. Oxidative damage to neurons and loss of cholinergic neurons in forebrain region are observed in this disease. Melissa officinalis is a medicinal plant from Lamiaceae family, used traditionally in the treatment of cognitive disorders. It has cholinomimetic and potent antioxidant activity. In the present study, we investigated the possible neuroprotective effects of total ethanolic extract, acidic and non-acidic fraction of Melissa officinalis on Aβ-induced cytotoxicity and oxidative stress in PC12 cells and also measured their in-vitro anticholinesterase activity. PC12 cells were incubated with the extract and fractions prior to the incubation with Aβ and cell toxicity was assessed by MTT assay. In addition, productions of reactive oxygen species (ROS), Malondialdehyde (MDA) as a biomarker of lipid peroxidation and glutathione peroxidase activity were measured. Pretreatment of cells with total extract and acidic fraction (not non-acidic fraction) had protective effect against Aβ-induced oxidative changes and cell death. In concentrations in which both total extracts of an acidic fraction showed neuroprotective effects, inhibition of cholinesterase activity was not significant. Then, the protective effects of Melissa officinalis total extract and acidic fraction were not attributed to their anticholinesterase activity. Acidic fraction showed more potent protective effect compared to the total extract, leading to the fact that polyphenolic compounds and terpenoic acids are the most effective components in the total extract concentrated in this fraction.


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