Effect of rosmarinic acid in motor dysfunction and life span in a mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
J Neurosci Res. 2010 Mar ;88(4):896-904. PMID: 19798750
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons. About 2% of patients with the disease are associated with mutations in the gene encoding Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of rosemary extract and its major constituents, rosmarinic acid (RA) and carnosic acid (CA), in human SOD1 G93A transgenic mice, which are well-established mouse models for ALS. The present study demonstrates that intraperitoneal administration of rosemary extract or RA from the presymptomatic stage significantly delayed motor dysfunction in paw grip endurance tests, attenuated the degeneration of motor neurons, and extended the life span of ALS model mice. In addition, RA administration significantly improved the clinical score and suppressed body weight loss compared with a vehicle-treated group. In conclusion, this study provides the first report that rosemary extract and, especially, RA have preventive effects in the mouse model of ALS.