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Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2013 May 16;10(4):6-11. eCollection 2013.

Effect of four medicinal plants on amyloid-β induced neurotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X323, Arcadia 0007, South Africa.


Amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ) is implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disorder. This study was designed to determine the effect of four medicinal plants used to treat neurodegenerative diseases on Aβ-induced cell death. Cytotoxicity of the ethanol extracts of the plants was determined against SH-SY5Y (human neuroblastoma) cells which were untreated, as well as toxically induced with Aβ, using the MTT and neutral red uptake assays. Cell viability was reduced to 16% when exposed to 20 µM Aβ25-35 for 72 h. The methanol extract of the roots of Ziziphus mucronata Willd., Lannea schweinfurthii (Engl.) Engl. and Terminalia sericea Burch. ex DC., were the least toxic to the SH-SY5Ycells at the highest concentration tested (100 µg/ml). All four plants tested were observed to reduce the effects of Aβ-induced neuronal cell death, indicating that they may contain compounds which may be relevant in the prevention of AD progression.


Amyloid-beta peptide; SH-SY5Y cells; medicinal plants; neurodegenerative disorders; neurotoxicity

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