The Prophylactic Capacity of Nepeta Menthoides (Ostokhodus) in Prevention of Spinal Motoneuron Injury


1 Associate professor, Department of Anatomical Sciences and pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran


Background & Aims: Since apoptotic cell death plays a crucial role in many neurodegenerative diseases, control of apoptosis can be taken into account as a putative neuroprotective strategy. Due to the reported neuroprotective effect of the herbal medicine Nepeta Menthoides (Ostokhodus) on the axotomy-induced apoptosis in the spinal motoneurons, in the present study we have investigated its prophylactic capacity. Methods: In 20 two-day neonate rats (one control and three experimental groups) the right sciatic nerve was transected and in all samples the left ventral horn was considered as internal control. The experimental groups received different doses of alcoholic extract of Ostokhodus intraperitoneally for 3 days starting 24 hours before axotomy, and the control group was treated with equal volume of normal saline similarly. At the end, in the ventral horn of the related spinal cord segments the mean number of survived motoneurons, and by means of TUNEL assay the apoptotic motoneurons were counted. Results: In all groups transection of sciatic nerve resulted in a significant reduction of motoneurons through apoptosis, which could be prevented significantly by administration of 500 and 1000mg/kg of Ostokhodus. The drug administration from 24 hours before axotomy did not result in any more prominent neuroprotection. Conclusion: The neuroprotective effect of Ostokhodus on axotomized motoneurons, which acts through inhibition of apoptosis, has no prophylactic effect and its administration before neural injury causes no more neuroprotective effect