Background and purpose: The use of an appropriate stimulus for increasing the rate of neural stem cell proliferation is one of the most important issues in cell therapy. This study aimed to investigate the effect of hydroethanolic extract of Stachys byzantina on hippocampus-derived neural stem cell proliferation and apoptosis.
Materials and methods: In this experimental study, the neural stem cells were isolated from the hippocampus region of brain using enzymatic digestion. The neurospheres were dissociated to single cells and cultured on adherent plates. For these cells, immunocytochemical evaluation was performed for marker nestin. The isolated neural stem cells were pretreated with different doses of hydroethanolic extract of Stachys byzantina for 48 h, and then exposed to 125 μM of H2O2 for 30 min. The effects of this extract on cell survival and apoptosis were evaluated using MTT and TUNEL, respectively. To analyze the data, ANOVA and Tukey’s tests were run in SPSS, version 15.
Results: In the current study, 800 µg/ml of Stachys byzantina extract significantly increased the proliferation rate of the neural stem cells. Furthermore, the results of the TUNEL staining demonstrated that Stachys byzantina extract did not have any protective effect on hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis.
Conclusion: Stachys byzantina extract increases the rate of neural stem cell proliferation. However, further studies are required to determine the effect of this extract on the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.