The Neuroprotective Effects of Carvacrol on Ethanol-Induced Hippocampal Neurons Impairment via the Antioxidative and Antiapoptotic Pathways.
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017 ;2017:4079425. Epub 2017 Jan 16. PMID: 28191274
Chronic alcohol consumption causes hippocampal neuronal impairment, which is associated with oxidative stress and apoptosis. Carvacrol is a major monoterpenic phenol found in essential oils from the family Labiatae and has antioxidative stress and antiapoptosis actions. However, the protective effects of carvacrol in ethanol-induced hippocampal neuronal impairment have not been fully understood. We explored the neuroprotective effects of carvacrol in vivo and in vitro. Male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 35% ethanol for 4 weeks to establish ethanol model in vivo, and hippocampal neuron injury was simulated by 200 mM ethanol in vitro. Morris water maze test was performed to evaluate the cognitive dysfunction. The oxidative stress injury of hippocampal neurons was evaluated by measuring the levels of oxidative stress biomarkers. Histopathological examinations and western blot were performed to evaluate theapoptosis of neurons. The results showed that carvacrol attenuates the cognitive dysfunction, oxidative stress, and apoptosis of the mice treated with ethanol and decreases hippocampal neurons apoptosis induced by ethanol in vitro. In addition, western blot analysis revealed that carvacrol modulatesthe protein expression of Bcl-2, Bax, caspase-3, and p-ERK, without influence of p-JNK and p-p38. Our results suggest that carvacrol alleviates ethanol-mediated hippocampal neuronal impairment by antioxidative and antiapoptotic effects.