Golden Root (Rhodiola Rosea, Artic Root, Rosenroot)
Rhodiola rosea L. Improves Learning and Memory Function: Preclinical Evidence and Possible Mechanisms
Rhodiola rosea L. (R. rosea L.) is widely used to stimulate the nervous system, extenuate anxiety, enhance work performance, relieve fatigue, and prevent high altitude sickness. Previous studies reported that R. rosea L. improves learning and memory function in animal models. Here, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis for preclinical studies to assess the current evidence for R. rosea L. effect on learning and memory function. Ultimately, 36 studies involving 836 animals were identified by searching 6 databases from inception to May 2018. The primary outcome measures included the escape latency in Morris water maze (MWM) test on behalf of learning ability, the frequency and the length of time spent on the target quadrant in MWM test representing memory function, and the number of errors in step down test, dark avoidance test and Y maze test on behalf of memory function. The secondary outcome measures were mechanisms of R. rosea L. for learning and/or memory function. Compared with control, the pooled results of 28 studies showed significant effects of R. rosea L. for reducing the escape latency (P < 0.05); 23 studies for increasing the frequency and the length of time spent on the target quadrant (P < 0.05); and 6 studies for decreasing the number of errors (P < 0.01). The possible mechanisms of R. rosea L. are largely through antioxidant, cholinergic regulation, anti-apoptosis activities, anti-inflammatory, improving coronary blood flow, and cerebral metabolism. In conclusion, the findings suggested that R. rosea L. can improve learning and memory function.
We have provided a first-ever comprehensive preclinical systematic review of R. rosea L. for cognitive behavior in animal studies and our findings indicate that R. rosea L. improves learning and memory function in experimental models.
Anti-Inflammatory and Neuroprotective Effects of Constituents Isolated from Rhodiola rosea
To determine the biological activity of Rhodiola rosea, the protein expression of iNOS and proinflammatory cytokines was measured after the activation of murine microglial BV2 cells by LPS under the exposure of constituents of Rhodiola rosea: crude extract, rosin, rosarin, and salidroside (each 1–50 μg/mL). The LPS-induced expression of iNOS and cytokines in BV2 cells was suppressed by the constituents of Rhodiola rosea in a concentration-dependent manner. Also the expression of the proinflammatory factors iNOS, IL-1β, and TNF-α in the kidney and prefrontal cortex of brain in mice was suppressed by the oral administration of Rhodiola rosea crude extract (500 mg/kg). To determine the neuroprotective effect of constituents of Rhodiola rosea, neuronal cells were activated by L-glutamate, and neurotoxicity was analyzed. The L-glutamate-induced neurotoxicity was suppressed by the treatment with rosin but not by rosarin. The level of phosphorylated MAPK, pJNK, and pp38 was increased by L-glutamate treatment but decreased by the treatment with rosin and salidroside. These results indicate that Rhodiola rosea may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of inflammation and neurodegenerative disease.
R. rosea constituents could ameliorate the inflammation and neurotoxicity in cortical neuronal cells. The protective effects of R. rosea constituents not only were related to modulate endogenous anti-inflammatory, but also affected the neuronal over activation. As far as we know, this is the first report to demonstrate that R. rosea has the neuroprotective effects against L-glu-induced neurotoxicity in cortical neuronal cells. The protective effects of R. rosea against neurotoxicity may provide the pharmacological basis of its clinical usage in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Rosenroot (Rhodiola): Potential Applications in Aging-related Diseases
Aging is a progressive accumulation of changes in the body, which increases the susceptibility to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Recently, Chinese medicinal herbs have been investigated for their therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of some aging-related diseases. Rhodiola, known as ‘Hongjingtian’ in Chinese, has been reported to have anti-aging activity. Here, we provide a comprehensive review about its origin, chemical constituents, and effects on aging-related diseases.
In conclusion, the evidence presented in this review strongly supports the proposition that Rhodiola has therapeutic properties for a variety of age-related diseases and therefore warrants further investigation.