Submit Manuscript  

Article Details

Neuroprotective Effects of Medicinal Plants in Cerebral Hypoxia and Anoxia: A Systematic Review


Nasibeh Amirzargar, Saeid Heidari- Soureshjani, Qian Yang, Saber Abbaszadeh and Mojtaba Khaksarian*   Pages 1 - 16 ( 16 )


Background: Hypoxia and anoxia are dangerous and sometimes irreversible complications in the central nervous system (CNS), which in some cases lead to death.

Objective: The aim of this review is to investigate the neuroprotective effects of Medicinal plants in cerebral hypoxia and anoxia.

Methods: The word antihypoxic, in combination with some herbal terms such as medicinal plant, phyto* and herb*, were used to search for relevant publications indexed in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and PubMed.

Results: Certain medicinal plants and herbal derivatives can exert their protective effects in several ways. The most important mechanisms are inhibition of iNOS and production of NO, inhibition of both hypoxia-inducible factor 1α and tumor necrosis factor alpha activation, reduction of extra cellular glutamate, N-Methyl-D-aspartic and intracellular Ca (2+). In addition, they have antioxidant activity and can adjust the expression of genes related to oxidant generation or antioxidant capacity, inhibit lipid peroxidation, up-regulate superoxide dismutase activity and inhibit the content of malondialdehyde and lactate dehydrogenase. Moreover they have protective effects against cytotoxicity through down-regulation of the proteins that cause apoptosis, anti-excitatory activity, inhibition of apoptosis signaling pathway, reducing pro-apoptotic proteins, reducing endoplasmic reticulum stress that causes apoptosis during hypoxia, increasing anti-apoptotic protein, inhibition of protein tyrosine kinase activation, decreasing proteases activity and DNA fragmentation, and upregulation of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase.

Conclusion: The results indicated that medicinal plants and their compounds mainly exert their neuroprotective effects in hypoxia via regulating proteins that are related to antioxidant, anti-apoptosis and anti-inflammatory activity.


Antihypoxic, Medicinal plants, Hypoxia, Neuroprotective agents, Brain hypoxia


Department of Neurology, Rofeydeh Rehabilitation Hospital, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Deputy of Research and Technology, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Student Research Committee, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Razi Herbal Medicines Research Center, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad

Read Full-Text article