Metabolic brain disease

Investigation of the protective effect of Paeonia lactiflora on Semen Strychni-induced neurotoxicity based on monitoring nine potential neurotoxicity biomarkers in rat serum and brain tissue.

PMID 27521025


Semen Strychni has been widely used as a traditional Chinese herb medicine, but its clinical use was limited for its potential neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. This study aimed to investigate S. Strychni-induced neurotoxicity and the neuro-protective effect of Paeonia lactiflora based on monitoring nine potential neurotoxicity biomarkers in rat serum and brain tissue. A sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method was developed and validated to monitor serotonin, tryptophan, dopamine, tyrosine and glutamate in serum and five brain regions (prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, striatum, cerebellum and hypothalamus). Analytes were separated on a CAPCELL CORE PC column (150xa0mm × 2xa0mm, 2.7xa0μm) with a gradient program of acetonitrile-water (0.2xa0% formic acid) and a total runtime of 7.5xa0min. In addition, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was conducted to determine four kinds of protein (tryptophan hydroxylase, tyrosine hydroxylase, endogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor). Results demonstrated that the administration of S. Strychni could cause certain endogenous substances disorder. These analytes were found significantly changed (p < 0.05) in serum (except glutamate) and in certain tested brain regions in S. Strychni extract group. Pretreatment of P. lactiflora could significantly reverse the S. Strychni-induced neurotoxicity and normalize the levels of such endogenous substances. The study could be further used in predicting and monitoring neurotoxicity caused by other reasons, and it was expected to be useful for improving clinical use of S. Strychni through pretreatment with P. lactiflora.

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Serotonin, analytical standard