The Effect of Hydro-Alcoholic Extraction of Valerian on Number and Morphology of Raphe Magnus Nucleus in Astrocytes in Rat Model
Dr. Jafari Barmak Mehrzad,
Assistant Professor, Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran.
Introduction: The valerian root extract has been used to treat sleep disorders, stress, depression, anxiety, muscle stiffness and tension. Astrocyte cells are involved in neural support, nutrition and protection. They regulate the transmission of electrical impulses within the brain.
Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect(s) of valerian extract on the number and size of the astrocyte cells in raphe magnus nucleus of rats.
Materials and Methods: In the present experimental study, 40 male Wistar rats weighing 170-250 gm were randomly divided into four groups as follows: one control and three experimental groups. The control group received distilled water while animals in Group 2, 3 and 4 were gavaged by 300, 400 and 600 mg valerian root extract daily, respectively for two weeks. Astrocyte cells were stained with phosphotungstic acid. The size and number of astrocyte cells were calculated using the LS starter software. The collected data were analysed using SPSS statistical analysis with ANOVA and LSD tests.
Results: The mean number of astrocytes in experimental Groups 3 and 4 showed a significant increase in comparison with the control and experimental Group 2 (p-value <0.05). The mean diameter of astrocytes in all groups compared with the control group showed a significant decrease. Moreover, in Group 2, compared with Groups 3 and 4, the difference was statistically significant (p-value <0.05).
Conclusion: Aqueous extracts of valerian taken orally will increase the number of astrocytes in the raphe magnus. In addition, administration of this extract reduced the diameter of astrocytes in nucleus raphe magnus, which is indicative of cell proliferation in the nucleus raphe magnus.