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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies 1/2017

Protective effects of carnosol against oxidative stress induced brain damage by chronic stress in rats

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies > Ausgabe 1/2017
Saeed Samarghandian, Mohsen Azimi-Nezhad, Abasalt Borji, Mohammad Samini, Tahereh Farkhondeh



Oxidative stress through chronic stress destroys the brain function. There are many documents have shown that carnosol may have a therapeutic effect versus free radical induced diseases. The current research focused the protective effect of carnosol against the brain injury induced by the restraint stress.


The restraint stress induced by keeping animals in restrainers for 21 consecutive days. Thereafter, the rats were injected carnosol or vehicle for 21 consecutive days. At the end of experiment, all the rats were subjected to his open field test and forced swimming test. Afterwards, the rats were sacrificed for measuring their oxidative stress parameters. To measure the modifications in the biochemical aspects after the experiment, the activities of malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH), as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR) and catalase (CAT) were evaluated in the whole brain.


Our data showed that the animals received chronic stress had a raised immobility time versus the non-stressed animals (p < 0.01). Furthermore, chronic stress diminished the number of crossing in the animals that were subjected to the chronic stress versus the non-stressed rats (p < 0.01). Carnosol ameliorated this alteration versus the non-treated rats (p < 0.05). In the vehicle treated rats that submitted to the stress, the level of MDA levels was significantly increased (P < 0.001), and the levels of GSH and antioxidant enzymes were significantly decreased versus the non-stressed animals (P < 0.001). Carnosol treatment reduced the modifications in the stressed animals as compared with the control groups (P < 0.001). All of these carnosol effects were nearly similar to those observed with fluoxetine.


The current research shows that the protective effects of carnosol may be accompanied with enhanced antioxidant defenses and decreased oxidative injury.
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