Cymbopogon citratus mitigates neurobehavioral impairments via inhibition of oxidative stress and inflammatory changes in mice submitted to complete Freund adjuvant

Abstract

Background

Cymbopogon citratus aqueous leaf extract (CYC) otherwise known as lemongrass tea is used for achy joints (rheumatism) and central nervous system disorders in ethnomedicine. This study was designed to investigate the effects of CYC on neurobehavioral, oxidative, and inflammatory changes produced by complete Freund adjuvant (CFA) in male Swiss mice.

Methods

The mice were allotted into 6 groups (n = 6). The animals in group 1 received saline (control), group 2 also had saline (CFA-control), groups 3–5 received CYC (50, 100, or 200 mg/kg), whereas group 6 were given celecoxib (20 mg/kg) orally for 14 consecutive days. Mice in groups 2–6 also received 0.1 mL injection of CFA (10 mg/mL) into the left hind paw 30 min earlier on day 1. The paw volumes were measured on days 0, 7, and 14. Neurobehavioral changes were evaluated on day 14. Thereafter, the left hind paw tissues were processed for estimation of malondialdehyde, nitrite, glutathione, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-6 contents.

Results

The increase in paw volume and weight produced by CFA was reduced by CYC (p < 0.05). CYC attenuated postural instability, anxiety, depression, memory deficits, and nociceptive responses in CFA-mice. The CFA-induced increases in malondialdehyde and pro-inflammatory cytokines accompanied by decreased glutathione contents in mouse hind paw were attenuated by CYC (p < 0.05).

Conclusion

The findings that CYC reduces inflammatory edema, neurological deficits, nociception, biomarkers of oxidative stress, and release of inflammatory cytokines in CFA-treated mice further supports its acclaimed benefit in arthritic pain in ethnomedicine.

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Data availability

Data set supporting the findings and conclusion of this article is included as tables and figures attached to the main manuscript.

Abbreviations

RA:

Rheumatoid arthritis

CFA:

Complete Freund adjuvant

TNF-α:

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha

IL-6:

Interleukin-6

IL-1β:

Interleukin-1β

C. citratus :

Cymbopogon citratus

CNS:

Central nervous system

DTNB:

Ellman reagent [5′,5′-Dithiobis- (2-nitrobenzoate)]

TBA:

Thiobarbituric acid

TCA:

Trichloroacetic acid

WBT:

Walk beam test

TST:

Tail suspension test

GSH:

Glutathione

MDA:

Malondialdehyde

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Acknowledgments

Authors thank the technical staff of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Ibadan for their assistance.

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Authors

Contributions

This study was carried out in collaboration with all authors. SU and BBA designed the work; AMA, BBA, AA and MA carried out the lab work; AMA and BBA did the statistical analyses; and SU, AA, and BBA wrote the first and final drafts of the manuscripts.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Benneth Ben-Azu.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval and consent to participate

The experimental procedures were performed in accordance with the NIH Ethical Guidelines for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Publication No. 85-23, revised 1985) as well as the University of Ibadan’s Ethics on the Use and Care of Laboratory Animals guidelines (UI/ACUREC 2018).

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Umukoro, S., Ben-Azu, B., Ajayi, A.M. et al. Cymbopogon citratus mitigates neurobehavioral impairments via inhibition of oxidative stress and inflammatory changes in mice submitted to complete Freund adjuvant. Nutrire 46, 3 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41110-020-00130-4

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Keywords

  • Cymbogogon citratus
  • Neurological deficits
  • Inflammatory cytokines
  • Oxidative stress
  • Complete Freund adjuvant