12 December 2013
Lannea schweinfurthii, Zanthoxylum capense, Scadoxus puniceus and Crinum bulbispermum are used traditionally to treat neurological disorders. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cytoprotective potential of the four plants, after induction of toxicity using rotenone, in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells.
Cytotoxicity of the plant extracts and rotenone was assessed using the sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay. Fluorometry was used to measure intracellular redox state (reactive oxygen species (ROS) and intracellular glutathione content), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and caspase-3 activity, as a marker of apoptotic cell death.
Of the tested plants, the methanol extract of Z. capense was the least cytotoxic; LC 50 121.3 ± 6.97 μg/ml, while S. puniceus methanol extract was the most cytotoxic; LC 50 20.75 ± 1.47 μg/ml. Rotenone reduced intracellular ROS levels after 24 h exposure. Pre-treating cells with S. puniceus and C. bulbispermum extracts reversed the effects of rotenone on intracellular ROS levels. Rotenone exposure also decreased intracellular glutathione levels, which was counteracted by pre-treatment with any one of the extracts. MMP was reduced by rotenone, which was neutralized by pre-treatment with C. bulbispermum ethyl acetate extract. All extracts inhibited rotenone-induced activation of caspase-3.