Protective effect of Melissa officinalis aqueous extract against Mn-induced oxidative stress in chronically exposed mice

Eduarda N. Martins, Naira T.C. Pessano, Luiza Leal, Daniel H. Roos, Vanderlei Folmer, Gustavo O. Puntel, João Batista Teixeira Rocha, Michael Aschner, Daiana Silva Ávila, Robson Luiz Puntel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Manganese (Mn) is an essential element for biological systems; however occupational exposure to high levels of this metal may lead to neurodegenerative disorders, resembling Parkinson's disease (PD). While its mechanisms of neurotoxicity have yet to be fully understood, oxidative stress plays a critical role. Thus, the main goal of this study was to investigate the efficacy of aqueous extract of Melissa officinalis in attenuating Mn-induced brain oxidative stress in mice. Sixteen male mice were randomly divided into two groups and treated for 3 months: the first group consumed tap water (control group) and the second group was treated with Mn (50. mg/kg/day for habituation during the first 15 days followed by 100. mg/kg/day for additional 75 days) in the drinking water. After 3 months both groups were sub divided (n=4 per group) and treated for additional 3 months with Mn and/or M. officinalis in the drinking water. The first group (control) was treated with water and served as control; the second group (M. officinalis) was treated with M. officinalis (100. mg/kg/day); the third group was treated with Mn (100. mg/kg/day); the fourth group (Mn. +. M. officinalis) was treated with both Mn and M. officinalis (100. mg/kg/day each). Mn-treated mice showed a significant increase in thiobarbituric acid reactive species (TBARS) levels (a marker of oxidative stress) in both the hippocampus and striatum. These changes were accompanied by a decrease in total thiol content in the hippocampus and a significant increase in antioxidant enzyme activity (superoxide dismutase and catalase) in the hippocampus, striatum, cortex and cerebellum. Co-treatment with M. officinalis aqueous extract in Mn-treated mice significantly inhibited the antioxidant enzyme activities and attenuated the oxidative damage (TBARS and decreased total thiol levels). These results establish that M. officinalis aqueous extract possesses potent antioxidative properties, validating its efficacy in attenuating Mn-induced oxidative stress in the mouse brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant
  • Manganese
  • Melissa officinalis
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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