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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 157598, 10 pages
Research Article

Antioxidant and Astroprotective Effects of a Pulicaria incisa Infusion

1Department of Food Quality and Safety, The Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
2Dead Sea and Arava Science Center and The Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Genetics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, P.O. Box 653, 84105 Beersheba, Israel

Received 23 September 2012; Accepted 21 November 2012

Academic Editor: Mohammad Abdollahi

Copyright © 2012 Anat Elmann 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.


Oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the brain, protect neurons from reactive oxygen species (ROS) and provide them with trophic support, such as glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). Thus, any damage to astrocytes will affect neuronal survival. In the present study, an infusion prepared from the desert plant Pulicaria incisa (Pi) was tested for its protective and antioxidant effects on astrocytes subjected to oxidative stress. The Pi infusion attenuated the intracellular accumulation of ROS following treatment with hydrogen peroxide and zinc and prevented the H2O2-induced death of astrocytes. The Pi infusion also exhibited an antioxidant effect in vitro and induced GDNF transcription in astrocytes. It is proposed that this Pi infusion be further evaluated for use as a functional beverage for the prevention and/or treatment of brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases in which oxidative stress plays a role.