Parkinson disease (PD) is the most common progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive death of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Most neurodegenerative disease treatments are, at present, palliative. However, some natural herbal products have been shown to rescue neurons from death and apoptosis in some of neurodegenerative diseases. Not only Olea europaea L. olive oil, but also the leaves of this plant have been used for medical purposes. Olive leaf extract (OLE) is being used by people as a drink across the world and as an integral ingredient in their desire to maintain and improve their health. Here, we investigated the effects of OLE and its main phenolic component oleuropein on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced toxicity in rat adrenal pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells as an in vitro model of PD. Cell damage was induced by 150 μM 6-OHDA. The cell survival rate was examined by MTT assay. Generation of intra-cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) was studied using fluorescence spectrophotometry. Immunoblotting and DNA analysis were also employed to determine the levels of biochemical markers of apoptosis in the cells. The data showed that 6-OHDA could decrease the viability of the cells. In addition, intra-cellular ROS, activated caspase 3, Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, as well as DNA fragmentation were significantly increased in 6-OHDA-treated cells. Incubation of cells with OLE (400 and 600 μg/mL) and oleuropein (20 and 25 μg/mL) could decrease cell damage and reduce biochemical markers of cell death. The results suggest that OLE and oleuropein have anti-oxidant protective effects against 6-OHDA-induced PC12 cell damage. The protective effects of OLE and oleuropein are correlative with their anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic properties and suggest their therapeutic potential in the treatment of PD.
This study tests the hypothesis that in chronic Toxoplasma gondii infection communication among immune cells promotes neuroinflammation through cytokine networks and potentiate cognitive impairments in BALB/c mice with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The animal model of Toxoplasma infection was established by the intraperitoneal inoculation of 20-25 tissue cysts from the Tehran strain of T. gondii . We injected amyloid-beta 1-42 peptide (Aβ, 1 and 2 μl) into the hippocampus of BALB/c mice to establish an animal model of AD. The behavioral experiments such as spatial learning and memory were performed using the Morris water maze test. The mRNA levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, IFN-γ, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were examined by real-time PCR. We found that T. gondii infection caused AD-like symptoms and impaired learning and memory functions of the infected BALB/c mice. We also found that in Toxoplasma infection + Aβ (1 μl) group, T. gondii infection could potentiate AD in infected mice receiving subdoses of Aβ (1 μl) and caused considerable impairment in learning and memory functions similar to AD group. Comparison of the results demonstrated that mRNA levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, IFN-γ, and iNOS significantly (P < 0.001) increased in T. gondii + Aβ (1 μl) in comparison with the other tested groups. The obtained results showed that chronic T. gondii infection communication among immune cells promotes neuroinflammation through cytokine networks and induces pathological progression of AD in the mice brain, whereas the presence of neuroanatomical Toxoplasma tissue cysts in the brain could also affect the behavioral functions in T. gondii -infected mice.
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