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J Med Food. 2015 Jun;18(6):642-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.3295. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Valeriana officinalis Extracts Ameliorate Neuronal Damage by Suppressing Lipid Peroxidation in the Gerbil Hippocampus Following Transient Cerebral Ischemia.

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1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Research Institute for Veterinary Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.
2Department of Anatomy, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, South Korea.
4Food Analysis Center, Korea Food Research Institute, Sungnam, South Korea.


As a medicinal plant, the roots of Valeriana officinalis have been used as a sedative and tranquilizer. In the present study, we evaluated the neuroprotective effects of valerian root extracts (VE) on the hippocampal CA1 region of gerbils after 5 min of transient cerebral ischemia. Gerbils were administered VE orally once a day for 3 weeks, subjected to ischemia/reperfusion injury, and continued on VE for 3 weeks. The administration of 100 mg/kg VE (VE100 group) significantly reduced the ischemia-induced spontaneous motor hyperactivity 1 day after ischemia/reperfusion. Four days after ischemia/reperfusion, animals treated with VE showed abundant cresyl violet-positive neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region when compared to the vehicle or 25 mg/kg VE-treated groups. In addition, the VE treatment markedly decreased microglial activation in the hippocampal CA1 region 4 days after ischemia. Compared to the other groups, the VE100 group showed the lowest level of lipid peroxidation during the first 24 h after ischemia/reperfusion. In summary, the findings in this study suggest that pretreatment with VE has protective effects against ischemic injury in the hippocampal pyramidal neurons by decreasing microglial activation and lipid peroxidation.


Valeriana officinalis; gerbil ischemia; hippocampus; lipid peroxidation

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