Antioxidant activity of Citrus limon essential oil in mouse hippocampus

Campêlo LM, Gonçalves FC, Feitosa CM, de Freitas RM
Pharmaceutical Biology, 2011


Citrus limon (L.) Burms (Rutaceae) has been shown in previous studies to have various biological functions (anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antiviral, antimutagenic, and anticarcinogenic). However, traditional uses in folk medicine suggest that C. limon may have an effect on the central nervous system (CNS).

This study investigated the effects of C. limon essential oil (EO) on lipid peroxidation level, nitrite content, glutathione reduced (GSH) concentration, and antioxidant enzymes [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase (GPx)] activities in mice hippocampus.

Swiss mice were treated with the suspension of 0.5% Tween 80, in distilled water used as vehicle (i.p., control group) and with EO in three different doses (0.05, 0.1, or 0.15 g/kg, i.p., EO 50, EO 100, and EO 150 groups, respectively). After the treatments, all groups were observed for 24 h. The enzyme activities as well as the lipid peroxidation, nitrite, and GSH concentrations in mice hippocampus were measured using spectrophotometric methods and the results were compared with values obtained from control group.

EO of C. limon treatment significantly reduced the lipid peroxidation level and nitrite content but increased the GSH levels and the SOD, catalase, and GPx activities in mice hippocampus.

Our findings strongly support the hypothesis that oxidative stress in hippocampus can occur during neurodegenerative diseases, proving that hippocampal damage induced by the oxidative process plays a crucial role in brain disorders, and also imply that a strong protective effect could be achieved using EO of C. limon as an antioxidant.


Campêlo LM, Gonçalves FC, Feitosa CM, Et Al. Antioxidant activity of Citrus limon essential oil in mouse hippocampus. Pharm Biol. 2011;49(7):709-715.

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