Withania somnifera and Centella asiatica Extracts Ameliorate Behavioral Deficits in an In Vivo Drosophila melanogaster Model of Oxidative Stress

Kadine Cabey, Dani M. Long, Alexander Law, Nora E. Gray, Christine McClure, Maya Caruso, Parnian Lak, Kirsten M. Wright, Jan F. Stevens, Claudia S. Maier, Amala Soumyanath, Doris Kretzschmar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Due to an increase in the aging population, age-related diseases and age-related changes, such as diminished cognition and sleep disturbances, are an increasing health threat. It has been suggested that an increase in oxidative stress underlies many of these changes. Current treatments for these diseases and changes either have low efficacy or have deleterious side effects preventing long-time use. Therefore, alternative treatments that promote healthy aging and provide resilience against these health threats are needed. The herbs Withania somnifera and Centella asiatica may be two such alternatives because both have been connected with reducing oxidative stress and could therefore ameliorate age-related impairments. To test the effects of these herbs on behavioral phenotypes induced by oxidative stress, we used the Drosophila melanogaster sniffer mutant which has high levels of oxidative stress due to reduced carbonyl reductase activity. Effects on cognition and mobility were assessed using phototaxis assays and both, W. somnifera and C. asiatica water extracts improved phototaxis in sniffer mutants. In addition, W. somnifera improved nighttime sleep in male and female sniffer flies and promoted a less fragmented sleep pattern in male sniffer flies. This suggests that W. somnifera and C. asiatica can ameliorate oxidative stress-related changes in behavior and that by doing so they might promote healthy aging in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121
JournalAntioxidants
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Ashwagandha
  • Cognition
  • Gotu kola
  • Oxidative stress
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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