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Neuroprotective activity of Matricaria recutita against fluoride-induced stress in rats

Context: Oxidative stress plays a key role in pathophysiology of many neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and so on. Although Matricaria recutita L. (Asteraceae), German chamomile, is traditionally used for central nervous system (CNS)-related diseases, its antistress properties have received little attention.

Objective: The present study evaluated the neuroprotective effect of German chamomile against aluminium fluoride (AlF4−)-induced oxidative stress in rats.

Materials and methods: The Sprague-Dawley rats of either sex (200–250 g) were selected and grouped as: group I received normal saline; group II received AlF4 − (negative control); groups III, IV, and V received 100, 200, and 300 mg/kg, orally, German chamomile methanol extract (GCME) along with AlF4 −; and group VI received quercetin (25 mg/kg, i.p.) + AlF4 −, respectively. After 10 days treatment with GCME, oxidative stress was induced by administering AlF4 − through drinking water for 7 days. Then, the protective antioxidant enzyme levels were measured and the histopathological studies were carried out.

Results: The GCME showed dose-dependent neuroprotective activity by significant decrease in lipid peroxidation (LPO) and increase in the superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione (GSH), and total thiol levels in extract-treated animals as compared with negative control group (P < 0.001). The histopathological studies also revealed the potent neuroprotective action of German chamomile against oxidative brain damage.

Conclusion: The present study for the first time shows potent neuroprotective activity of the methanol extract of German chamomile against AlF4−-induced oxidative stress in rats.