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Am. J. Biomed. Sci. 2015, 7(4), 229-241; doi: 10.5099/aj150400229
Received: 07 October2015; | Revised: 21 November 2015; | Accepted: 04 December 2015


Neuroprotective Effects of Thalassia Testudinum Leave Extract BM-21

on Global Ischemia in Mongolian Gerbils


Roberto Menendez1+*, Teidy Garcia1+, Gisela Marrero1, Ruth A Morales1, Anoland Garateix 1,

Erik Regalado1, Abilio Laguna1, Olga Valdes1, Teresita del Vallin1, Odalys Valdes2, Maria Rodriguez1

1 Center of Marine Bioproducts (CEBIMAR). Calle Loma entre 35 y 37, Alturas del Vedado, Plaza de la Revolucion, La Habana, Cuba.

2 Drug Research and Development Center.CIDEM. 17 No. 6208 e/ 62 y 64, Playa, La Habana, Cuba.

+These authors equally contributed to this work.

*Corresponding Author

Dr. Roberto Menendez Soto del Valle

Department of Pharmacology

Laboratory of Neuropharmacology

Center of Marine Bioproducts (CEBIMAR)

Calle Loma entre 35 y 37, Alturas del Vedado

Plaza de la Revolucion

La Habana, CP. 10400


Emails: roberto.menendez@infomed.sld.cu; rmenendez@cebimar.cu; rmenendezsoto@gmail.com



The aqueous ethanolic extract of the marine plant Thalassia testudinum, named BM-21, has powerful antioxidant and antilipoperoxidative activities. The extract also has anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive and neuroprotective effect against acrylamide-induced neurotoxicity. Excessive generation of free radicals and decreased levels of the antioxidant enzymes have been observed either during the brain ischemia or following reperfusion. In the present work we studied the neuroprotective potential of BM-21 against brain damage induced by transient bilateral carotid artery occlusion model of global cerebral ischemia in Mongolian gerbils. Oral administration of BM-21 (400 mg/kg, once a day for 8 days) prior to ischemic insult provides significant neuroprotection with respect to mortality, neurological symptoms, infarct volume and brain edema after. We also found that BM-21 reduces hippocampal neuronal death in the CA1 region and attenuates the increase of lipid peroxidation products (MDA). The extract also improves the activity of SOD and GSHPx and increases the content of GSH in brain homogenates. BM-21 administered at a dose at which the extract showed to be effective as anti-ischemic agent in vivo also reduces susceptibility of brain homogenates of non-ischemic gerbils against metal and non-metal lipid peroxidation in vitro. Taken together, our results suggest that BM-21 shows neuroprotective effect on global cerebral IR injury at least partially by inhibiting brain oxidative stress.

Keywords: Global ischemia; Neuroprotection; Oxidative stress; BM-21; Thalassia testudinum.

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