Thymoquinone Can Improve Neuronal Survival and Promote Neurogenesis in Rat Hippocampal Neurons.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Dec 26. Epub 2017 Dec 26. PMID: 29277983
SCOPE: Thymoquinone (TQ) has been used as a potential therapeutic for diseases such as cancer, and diabetes. Herein, we aimed to investigate the effect of TQ on behavioral and molecular parameters in healthy rat hippocampus.
METHODS: TQ (20 mg/kg/day) was administered intragastrically for 15 days to adult rats. After the behavioral tests, the hippocampal tissues were investigated in histological and molecular level.
RESULTS: In both DG and CA1, TQ significantly increased the number of hippocampal neurons. This increase was supported by a significant increase in the doublecortin expression on both gene and protein levels. In addition, TQ significantly decreased the amount of Caspase-3 expression and the cleavage of PARP indicating a decrease in apoptosis. Further, ERK, GSK-3, JNK, CREB, and iNOS proteins were found to be positively regulated by TQ. However, the gene expression of synapsin, synaptophysin, NGF, AKT, Bax, NFkB and p53 and the protein expression of BDNF and nNOS were not affected by TQ.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that TQ has an enhancing effect on cell survival and neurogenesis in healthy hippocampus rather inducing apoptosis in damaged neurons. This may proceed via ERK/JNK and CREB signaling pathways as a candidate acting mechanism for TQ. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.