News

02 Ago 2020

New article published on Plants about the functional properties of three antidepressants plant species: Eurasiatic Valeriana officinalis, the Himalayan Valeriana jatamansi and Nardostachys jatamansi

University of Messina, FEM2 Ambiente Srl, University of Genova, University of Milano-Bicocca, Nepal Herbs and Herbal Products Association and European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association and ATS (ETT&IBF-CNR Joint Lab), collaborated to publish the article “Comparative and Functional Screening of Three Species Traditionally used as Antidepressants: Valeriana officinalis L., Valeriana jatamansi Jones ex Roxb. and Nardostachys jatamansi (D.Don) DC” in which they investigated on the botanical and genetic features of these plants by micromorphological and DNA barcoding analyses and subsequently, to characterize and compare the chemical composition and neuroactive effects of EOs isolated by steam distillation from root/rhizome of the three species.

Abstract
The essential oils (EOs) of three Caprifoliaceae species, the Eurasiatic Valeriana officinalis (Vo), the Himalayan Valeriana jatamansi (Vj) and Nardostachys jatamansi (Nj), are traditionally used to treat neurological disorders. Roots/rhizomes micromorphology, DNA barcoding and EOs phytochemical characterization were carried out, while biological effects on the nervous system were assessed by acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity and microelectrode arrays (MEA). Nj showed the highest inhibitory activity on AChE (IC 50 67.15 μg/mL) followed by Vo (IC 50 127.30 μg/mL) and Vj (IC 50 246.84 μg/mL). MEA analyses on rat cortical neurons, carried out by recording mean firing rate (MFR) and mean bursting rate (MBR), revealed stronger inhibition by Nj (IC 50 18.8 and 11.1 μg/mL) and Vo (16.5 and 22.5 μg/mL), compared with Vj (68.5 and 89.3 μg/mL). These results could be related to different EO compositions, since sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes significantly contribute to the observed effects, but the presence of oxygenated compounds such as aldehydes and ketones is a discriminating factor in determining the order of potency. Our multidisciplinary approach represents an important tool to avoid the adulteration of herbal drugs and permits the evaluation of the effectiveness of EOs that could be used for a wide range of therapeutic applications.

For further information see:
Cornara L, Ambu G, Trombetta D, Denaro M, Alloisio S, Frigerio J, Labra M, Ghimire G, Valussi M, Smeriglio A. Comparative and Functional Screening of Three Species Traditionally used as Antidepressants: Valeriana officinalis L., Valeriana jatamansiJones ex Roxb. and Nardostachys jatamansi(D.Don) DC. Plants (Basel). 2020 Aug 5;9(8):994. doi: 10.3390/plants9080994. PMID: 32764268; PMCID: PMC7464919.
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