Axon- or dendrite-predominant outgrowth induced by constituents from Ashwagandha


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Abstract

We previously reported that the methanol extract of Ashwagandha (roots of Withania somnifera Dunal) induced dendrite extension in a human neuroblastoma cell line. In this study, we found that six of the 18 compounds isolated from the methanol extract enhanced neurite outgrowth in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Double immunostaining was performed in rat cortical neurons using antibodies to phosphorylated NF-H as an axonal marker, and to MAP2 as a dendritic marker. In withanolide A-treated cells, the length of NF-H-positive processes was significantly increased compared with vehicle-treated cells, whereas, the length of MAP2-positive processes was increased by withanosides IV and VI. These results suggest that axons are predominantly extended by withanolide A, and dendrites by withanosides IV and VI.

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