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Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2018 May-Jun;12(3):35-43.

Neuroprotective role of chrysin in attenuating loss of dopaminergic neurons and improving motor, learning and memory functions in rats.

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Department of Anatomy, Baqai Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan.
Department of Anatomy and Histology, College of Medicine, Qassim University, KSA.
Department of Pharmacology, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.
Department of Biology, Baqai Dental College, Baqai Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan.



Selective degeneration of dopaminergic neurons is the pathological hallmark of Parkinson disease (PD). Enhanced oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation and susceptibility of dopaminergic neurons to apoptotic cellular death are the leading pathogenetic mechanisms. Chrysin is an active flavonoid. Its neuroprotective effects have been reported. This study examined the neuroprotective effects of chrysin in ameliorating the dopaminergic neuronal degeneration and motor behavioral changes in rotenone model of PD.


Thirty Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned into three groups: Control, rotenone-treated, and rotenone+chrysin treated groups. Rotenone was given at a dose of 3 mg/kg daily intraperitoneally, and chrysin was given at a dose of 50 mg/kg daily intraperitoneally for 4 weeks. Using five neurobehavioral assessment tests, evaluation was done weekly to record the motor behavioral changes. After 4 weeks, animals were sacrificed, brains were removed, and section from striatum and substantia nigra were stained using hematoxylin and eosin and cresyl violet stains. Immunohistochemical sections were also prepared using anti-tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) antibody.


Rotenone-induced Parkinson like changes were evident from deteriorating motor behavior. These animals showed extensive loss of dopaminergic neurons, decreased immunoreactivity against anti-TH antibodies and number of TH positive dopaminergic neurons in the nigrostriatal region. Chrysin treated animals showed a significant reduction in motor behavioral changes, degeneration and loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons and increased immunoreactivity to anti-TH antibody.


This study concludes that chrysin confers neuroprotection in rat model of PD. It attenuates the degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons and motor behavioral abnormalities.


Chrysin; Parkinson disease; immunohistochemistry; motor behavior; rotenone


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