Glycyrrhizic acid Attenuates Neuroinflammation and Oxidative Stress in Rotenone Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Shreesh Ojha, Hayate Javed, Sheikh Azimullah, Salema B. Abul Khair, M. Emdadul Haque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting humans. It is characterized by dopaminergic neurodegeneration, mitochondrial impairment, and oxidative stress, enhanced lipid peroxidation, and induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We evaluated the neuroprotective efficacy of glycyrrhizic acid (GA), an active component of licorice, against rotenone-induced-oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in a PD rat model. Since PD is progressive and chronic, we investigated the effect of chronic administration of GA for 4 weeks (50 mg/kg/day), 30 min prior to rotenone administration. Rotenone administration significantly reduced the activity of superoxide dismutase and catalase, and caused the depletion of reduced glutathione. A concomitant increase in the levels of the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde was observed. It also significantly enhanced the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the midbrain and elevated the levels of inflammatory mediators such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Immunohistochemical analysis revealed significant increments in ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule-1 (Iba-1) levels, and in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels, and loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta upon rotenone challenge. GA treatment significantly attenuated the dopamine neuron loss and decreased the Iba-1 and GFAP activation induced by the rotenone insult. GA also improved antioxidant enzyme activity, prevented glutathione depletion, inhibited lipid peroxidation, and attenuated induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Subsequently, GA attenuated the increased levels of the inflammatory mediators COX-2 and iNOS. In conclusion, GA protects against rotenone-induced-PD. The neuroprotective effects of GA are attributed to its potent antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
JournalNeurotoxicity Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Glycyrrhizic acid
  • Inflammation
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Oxidative stress
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Rotenone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Toxicology


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