In this study, the neuroprotective effect of Scrophularia striata Boiss (Scrophulariaceae) extract, a plant growing in northeastern of Iran, against oxidative stress-induced neurocytotoxicity in PC12 was evaluated. The PC12 cell line pretreated with different concentrations (10, 50, 100, and 200 μg/ml) of the extract and then treated with H2O2 to induce oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. Survival of the cells, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and apoptosis were measured using MTT assay, fluorescent probe 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate, and annexin V/propidium iodide, respectively. Moreover, the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) was used to evaluate the antioxidant capacity of the plant extract. Phytochemical assay by thin layer chromatography showed that the main components, including phenolic compounds, phenyl propanoids and flavonoids, were presented in the S. striata extract. The extract in concentrations of 50-200 μg/ml protected PC12 cells from H2O2-induced toxicity. The survival of the cells at concentration of 200 μg/ml was 64 % compared to that of H2O2 alone-treated cells (48 %) (p < 0.001). The extract also dose-dependently reduced intracellular ROS production (p < 0.001). Moreover, the extract showed antioxidative effects and decreased apoptotic cells. Collectively, these findings indicated the ability of S. striata to decrease ROS generation and cell apoptosis and also suggest the presence of the neuroprotective agents in this plant.
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