Virtual Conference
Psychiatry conference 2023

Anat Elmann

Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center , Israel

Title: Harnessing phytochemicals to protect the brain


Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation increase susceptibility to neurodegeneration and other age-related pathologies. We have demonstrated that an infusion prepared from the plant Pulicaria incisa (Pi) inhibited the LPS-elicited expression of the proinflammatory cytokines Interleukin (IL)-1? and IL-6 and down-regulated NO and glutamate release from activated microglial cells. Pi infusion also protected cultured astrocytes against H2O2-induced cell death. The anti-oxidant properties of this infusion were also demonstrated by the attenuation of the intracellular accumulation of ROS following exposure of astrocytes to H2O2, zinc or 2,2’-Azobis(amidinopropane) (ABAP). The effects of Pi infusion were also demonstrated in hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative stress model in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. H2O2-induced ROS accumulation and caspase 3 activity decreased SH-SY5Y viability and were prevented upon pretreatment of cells with Pi infusion. Additionally, the Pi infusion upregulated cellular levels and nuclear translocation of nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2) as well as the phosphorylation of cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB). Aging mice treated daily for 18 months with Pi infusion exhibited reduced neuronal cell death in the hippocampus as compared to age-matched controls, and reduced anxiety. We, therefore, propose Pi infusion as a candidate regulator of oxidative stress in the brain.


Anat Elmann, is a research scientist in the Department of Food Science, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Israel. She received her B.Sc and M.Sc degrees from The Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel; and her Ph.D. degree from The Department of Neurobiology, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Elmann had a postdoctoral position at The Department of Chemical Immunology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, and later was a staff scientist in this department. She also gained experience as the head of the enzymology laboratory, at “D-Pharm” biotechnology. For the last 17 years, her research at the Volcani Institute is focused on nutraceuticals, botanical drugs, and functional foods for the prevention and/or treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Elmann is studying the effect of plant-derived substances (phytochemicals) on glial and neuronal cells, which play important roles in neurodegenerative diseases and aging. She presented her work at many different international conferences, and she is the author of 6 patents and over 45 publications on subjects including neurobiology, immunology, and the effects of phytochemicals and plant extracts on glial and neuronal cells. She also serves as the president of The Israel Society for Oxygen and Free Radical Research (ISOFRR).