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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Malva Sylvestris Attenuates Cognitive Deficits in a Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Rat Model by Reducing Neuronal Degeneration and Astrocytosis in the Hippocampus

Hailin Qin, Jie Qin, Junmin Hu, He Huang, Lianting Ma

Department of Neurosurgery, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:6099-6106

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.905429

Available online:

Published: 2017-12-25


BACKGROUND: The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of Malva sylvestris (MS) on cognitive dysfunction in a repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: MTBI was induced in all the study animals by hitting a metallic pendulum near the parietal-occipital area of the skull three times a day for ten days. Animals were treated with MS (250 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg) intragastrically per day for seven consecutive days. Cognitive function was estimated by the Morris water maze (MWM) method. Histopathology studies were performed on the hippocampal region by Nissl staining and anti GFAP staining. Concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and oxidative parameters including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and lipid peroxidation (LPO), and inflammatory cytokines in the brain tissues were measured.
RESULTS: Treatment with MS significantly improved cognitive function compared to the negative control. Histopathology studies suggested that treatment with MS significantly decreased (p<0.01) the count of neurodegenerative cells and induction of astrocytosis in the MTBI treated group compared to the negative control group. However, the concentrations of ROS and LPO, and the activities of SOD and CAT were significantly decreased in the MS treated groups of MTBI rats compared to the negative control group. Inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β, IL6, and TNF-α were significantly decreased (p<0.01) in the brain tissues of the MTBI treated group compared to the control group of rats.
CONCLUSIONS: This study concluded that treatment with MS significantly improved cognitive dysfunction by reducing neurodegeneration and astrocytosis in brain tissues via decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation in neuronal cells.

Keywords: Astrocytes, Brain Injuries, Neurodegenerative Diseases