Mucuna pruriens can be an effective treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Comparison of the neuroprotective potential of Mucuna pruriens seed extract with estrogen in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD mice model.
Neurochem Int. 2014 Jan ;65:1-13. Epub 2013 Dec 11. PMID: 24333323
Satyndra Kumar Yadav
Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disease found in the aging population. Currently, many studies are being conducted to find a suitable and effective cure for PD, with an emphasis on the use of herbal plants. In Ayurveda, Mucuna pruriens (Mp), a leguminous plant, is used as an anti-inflammatory drug. In this study, the neuroprotective effect of an ethanolic extract of Mp seed is evaluated in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model of PD and compared to estrogen, a well reported neuroprotective agent used for treating PD. Twenty-four Swiss albino mice were randomly divided into four groups: Control, MPTP, MPTP+Mp and MPTP+estrogen. The behavioural recovery in both Mp and estrogen treated mice was investigated using the rotarod, foot printing and hanging tests. The recovery of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) region was estimated by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), immunostaining. Additionally inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity was evaluated to assess the level of oxidative damage and glial activation respectively. The levels of dopamine and its metabolite in the nigrostriatal region were measured by HPLC. Mp treatment restored all the deficits induced by MPTP more effectively than estrogen. Mp treatment recovered the number of TH-positive cells in both the SN region and the striatum while reducing the expression of iNOS and GFAP in the SN. Treatment with Mp significantly increased the levels of dopamine, DOPAC and homovanillic acid compared to MPTP intoxicated mice. Notably, the effect of Mp was greater than that elicited by estrogen. Mp down regulates NO production, neuroinflammation and microglial activation and all of these actions contribute to Mp's neuroprotective activity. These results suggest that Mp can be an effective treatment for neurodegenerative diseases, especially PD by decreasing oxidative stress and possibly by implementing neuronal and glial cell crosstalk.