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Pharma-toxicological and phytochemical investigations on Tanacetum parthenium and Salix alba extracts: Focus on potential application as anti-migraine agents
1  Department of Pharmacy, “G. d’Annunzio”, Chieti-Pescara, Via dei Vestini n. 31, 66100 Chieti (ITALY).


Migraine is one of the most common neurological disorder, which has long been related to brain serotonin (5-HT) depletion and neuro-inflammation. Despite many treatment options are available, the frequent occurrence of unacceptable adverse effects further supports the research toward nutraceuticals and herbal preparations, among which Tanacetum parthenium and Salix alba showed promising anti-inflammatory and neuro-modulatory activities.

The impact of extract treatment on astrocyte viability, spontaneous migration and apoptosis was evaluated. Anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant effects were investigated on isolated rat cortexes exposed to a neurotoxic stimulus. The lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, nitrite levels and 5-HT turnover were evaluated, as well. A proteomic analysis was focused on specific neuronal proteins and a fingerprint analysis was carried out on selected phenolic compounds.

Both extracts appeared able to exert in vitro anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic effects. S. alba and T. parthenium extracts reduced LDH release, nitrite levels and 5-HT turnover induced by neurotoxicity stimulus. The downregulation of selected proteins suggest a neurotoxic, which could be ascribed to an elevate content of gallic acid in both S. alba and T. parthenium extracts.

Concluding, both extracts exert neuroprotective effects, although the downregulation of key proteins involved in neuron physiology suggest caution in their use as food supplements.

Keywords: Salix alba; Tanacetum parthenium; cortical spreading depression; apoptosis; serotonin; proteomic analysis; phytochemical analysis.