The Journal of Physiological Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 57–64 | Cite as

Neuroprotective and antinociceptive effects of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) extract in rats with painful diabetic neuropathy

  • Bahram Rasoulian
  • Zahra Hajializadeh
  • Saeed Esmaeili-Mahani
  • Marzieh Rashidipour
  • Iman Fatemi
  • Ayat KaeidiEmail author
Original Paper


Diabetes mellitus is associated with the development of neuronal tissue damage in different central and peripheral nervous system regions. A common complication of diabetes is painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. We have explored the antihyperalgesic and neuroprotective properties of Rosmarinus officinalis L. extract (RE) in a rat model of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. The nociceptive threshold and motor coordination of these diabetic rats was assessed using the tail-flick and rotarod treadmill tests, respectively. Activated caspase-3 and the Bax:Bcl-2 ratio, both biochemical indicators of apoptosis, were assessed in the dorsal half of the lumbar spinal cord tissue by western blotting. Treatment of the diabetic rats with RE improved hyperglycemia, hyperalgesia and motor deficit, suppressed caspase-3 activation and reduced the Bax:Bcl-2 ratio, suggesting that the RE has antihyperalgesic and neuroprotective effects in this rat model of STZ-induced diabetes. Cellular mechanisms underlying the observed effects may, at least partially, be related to the inhibition of neuronal apoptosis.

Graphical Abstract


Diabetic neuropathy Rosemary extract Hyperalgesia Apoptosis Rat 



This work was supported by grants from the Razi Herbal Medicines Research Center, Lorestan University of Medical Science (Grant Numbers 221393).

Author contributions

AK, BR and SEM conceived and designed the experiments. BR, AK, ZH, MR and IF performed the experiments. AK and BR analyzed the data. BR and AK contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools. AK, BR and ZH wrote the paper

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Physiological Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bahram Rasoulian
    • 1
  • Zahra Hajializadeh
    • 2
  • Saeed Esmaeili-Mahani
    • 3
  • Marzieh Rashidipour
    • 4
  • Iman Fatemi
    • 5
  • Ayat Kaeidi
    • 5
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Razi Herbal Medicines Research Center and Department of PhysiologyLorestan University of Medical SciencesKhorramabadIran
  2. 2.Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology SciencesKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Faculty of SciencesShahid Bahonar University of KermanKermanIran
  4. 4.Environmental Health Research CenterKurdistan University of Medical SciencesSanandajIran
  5. 5.Physiology–Pharmacology Research CenterRafsanjan University of Medical SciencesRafsanjanIran
  6. 6.Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of MedicineRafsanjan University of Medical SciencesRafsanjanIran

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