Pomegranate seed oil: Effect on 3-nitropropionic acid-induced neurotoxicity in PC12 cells and elucidation of unsaturated fatty acids composition

Bushra N. Al-Sabahi, Majekodunmi O. Fatope, Musthafa Mohamed Essa*, Selvaraju Subash, Saleh N. Al-Busafi, Fatma S.M. Al-Kusaibi, Thamilarasan Manivasagam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Seed oils are used as cosmetics or topical treatment for wounds, allergy, dandruff, and other purposes. Natural antioxidants from plants were recently reported to delay the onset or progress of various neurodegenerative conditions. Over one thousand cultivars of Punica granatum (Punicaceae) are known and some are traditionally used to treat various ailments. Aim: The effect of pomegranate oil on 3-nitropropionic acid- (3-NP) induced cytotoxicity in rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) neuronal cells was analyzed in this study. Furthermore, the analysis of unsaturated fatty acid composition of the seed oil of pomegranate by gas chromatography-electron impact mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was done. Results: GC-MS study showed the presence of 6,9-octadecadiynoic acid (C18:2(6,9)) as a major component (60%) as 4,4-dimethyloxazoline derivative. The total extractable oil with light petroleum ether by Soxhlet from the dry seed of P. granatum was 4–6%. The oil analyzed for 48.90 ± 1.50 mg gallic acid equivalents/g of oil, and demonstrated radical-scavenging-linked antioxidant activities in various in vitro assays like the DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-l-picrylhydrazyl, % IP = 35.2 ± 0.9%), ABTS (2,2′-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), % IP 2.2 ± 0.1%), and β-carotene bleaching assay (% IP = 26 ± 3%), respectively, which could be due the possible role of one methylene interrupted diynoic acid system for its radical-scavenging/antioxidant properties of oil. The oil also reduced lipid peroxidation, suppressed reactive oxygen species, extracellular nitric oxide, lactate/pyruvate ratio, and lactase dehydrogenase generated by 3-NP- (100 mM) induced neurotoxicity in PC12 cells, and enhanced the levels of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants at 40 μg of gallic acid equivalents. Conclusion: The protective effect of pomegranate seed oil might be due to the ability of an oil to neutralize ROS or enhance the expression of antioxidant gene and the exact mechanism of action yet to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalNutritional Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2017


  • 3-nitropropionic acid
  • Acetylenic fatty acid
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Neuro-protection
  • Oman
  • Pomegranate seed oil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Neuroscience
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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