Molecular Mechanisms of Neuroprotection by an Alternative Drug Scutellaria lateriflora
Type of Degreedissertation
Veterinary Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology
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Anxiety is one of the most prevalent neuropsychological disorders around the world. In the United States of America (USA), it is a serious health problem affecting a large number of people and is considered as one of the common disorder seen in the primary health care. Based on the current understanding of the pathologic mechanisms of anxiety, there are limited pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies. Benzodiazepine (the current first line of therapy) has severe adverse effects such as anterograde amnesia, tolerance, psychomotor impairment, memory disruption, impaired psychomotor function, paradoxical anxiety or aggression, risks of accidents and even mortality. A double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial indicated that commercial preparations of Scutellaria lateriflora have therapeutic benefits in anxiety with no evidence of toxicity. The purpose of this study was to examine the biological activities of S. lateriflora that may contribute to its neuroprotective mechanisms. The research study was conducted in four phases. The first two experimental approaches determined anti-oxidative potential and protective activities of S. lateriflora against oxidative stress induced neuronal cell death. The third experimental approach was designed to examine anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities of S. lateriflora. Finally, we examined the effects of Scutellaria lateriflora on synaptic plasticity in the form of long-term potentiation (LTP). S. lateriflora exhibited anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities, however, it suppressed synaptic plasticity. These results indicate neuroprotective activities of S. lateriflora against oxidative stress induced cell death and have anti-inflammatory activities.