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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 182029, 15 pages
Research Article

Glioprotective Effects of Ashwagandha Leaf Extract against Lead Induced Toxicity

Department of Biotechnology, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab 143005, India

Received 13 February 2014; Revised 24 April 2014; Accepted 24 April 2014; Published 28 May 2014

Academic Editor: José Carlos Tavares Carvalho

Copyright © 2014 Praveen Kumar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), also known as Indian Ginseng, is a well-known Indian medicinal plant due to its antioxidative, antistress, antigenotoxic, and immunomodulatory properties. The present study was designed to assess and establish the cytoprotective potential of Ashwagandha leaf aqueous extract against lead induced toxicity. Pretreatment of C6 cells with 0.1% Ashwagandha extract showed cytoprotection against 25 μM to 400 μM concentration of lead nitrate. Further pretreatment with Ashwagandha extract to lead nitrate exposed cells (200 μM) resulted in normalization of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression as well as heat shock protein (HSP70), mortalin, and neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) expression. Further, the cytoprotective efficacy of Ashwagandha extract was studied in vivo. Administration of Ashwagandha extract provided significant protection to lead induced altered antioxidant defense that may significantly compromise normal cellular function. Ashwagandha also provided a significant protection to lipid peroxidation (LPx) levels, catalase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) but not reduced glutathione (GSH) contents in brain tissue as well as peripheral organs, liver and kidney, suggesting its ability to act as a free radical scavenger protecting cells against toxic insult. These results, thus, suggest that Ashwagandha water extract may have the potential therapeutic implication against lead poisoning.