Asiatic Acid and Madecassic Acid Promote Neurite Outgrowth in Neuro2a Cell by Melissa A. Nathan and Gordon C. Tucker
Abstract: Centella asiatica (CA) has been used for many centuries in herbal medicines to improve intelligence, learning, memory, and cognitive performance. The exact component of CA extract and the molecular mechanism whereby it confers neuroprotection is still unclear. In this study, we examined the effects of asiatic acid (AA) and madecassic acid (MA) on neurite outgrowth in Neuro-2a (N2a) neuroblastoma cell line. Treatment of N2a cultures with AA decreased the percentage of neurite bearing cells, but increased neurite extension and combined length of neurites per cell in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of N2a with MA did not significantly alter the percentage of neurite bearing cells, but increased neurite extension and combined length of neurites per cell in a dose-dependent manner. These findings suggest that AA and MA have positive effects on neuronal structure in N2a cultures. Future studies to examine the beneficial effects of AA and MA in animal models of neurological diseases would help elucidate the therapeutic potential of AA and MA in neurodegenerative diseases involving mitochondrial dysfunction and compromised nerve regenerations.