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Carvacrol Protects Against 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced Neurotoxicity in In Vivo and In Vitro Models of Parkinson’s Disease


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder characterized by selective loss of dopaminergic neurons that project from the substantia nigra pars compacta to the striatum. Evidence from human and animal studies has suggested that oxidative damage critically contributes to neuronal loss in PD. Carvacrol (CAR), a monoterpenic phenol, is the main constituents in the essential oil of many aromatic plants and possesses some properties including anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. In this study, in vitro and in vivo experiments were performed with the CAR in order to investigate its potential neuroprotective effects in models of PD. Post-treatment with CAR in vitro was found to protect rat adrenal pheochromocytoma PC12 cells from toxicity induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) administration in a dose-dependent manner by (1) increasing cell viability and (2) reduction in intracellular reactive oxygen species, intracellular lipid peroxidation, and annexin-positive cells. In vivo, post-treatment with CAR (15 and 20 mg/kg) was protective against neurodegenerative phenotypes associated with systemic administration of 6-OHDA. Results indicated that CAR improved the locomotor activity, catalepsy, akinesia, bradykinesia, and motor coordination and reduced the apomorphine-caused rotation in 6-OHDA-stimulated rats. Increased level of reduced glutathione content and a decreased level of MDA (malondialdehyde) were observed in the 6-OHDA rats post-treated with CAR. These findings suggest that CAR exerts protective effects, possibly related to an anti-oxidation mechanism, in these in vitro and in vivo models of Parkinson’s disease.

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Correspondence to Anahita Torkaman-Boutorabi.

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The experimental procedures were carried out in accordance with international guideline for the care and use of laboratory animals, and all efforts were made to minimize animal suffering and reduce the number of animals used in the experiments. The Research and Ethics Committee of Tehran University of Medical Sciences, School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, approved the experimental protocol.

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Manouchehrabadi, M., Farhadi, M., Azizi, Z. et al. Carvacrol Protects Against 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced Neurotoxicity in In Vivo and In Vitro Models of Parkinson’s Disease. Neurotox Res 37, 156–170 (2020).

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  • CAR
  • Neuroprotection
  • 6-OHDA
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PC12
  • Rat