Oxidative Stress; Artemisia annua L.; Mouse Neuro2a; SOD1 and Gadd45a mRNA expression; Annexin V and Propidium Iodide; artemisinin


Artemisia annua L. is a well-known medicinal herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many centuries and contains artemisinin, which exhibits antimalarial properties [1] and is a potential treatment for SARS-CoV-2 [2]. However, the neurological effect of A. annua and its compounds are poorly understood. We hypothesize that A. annua extracts and artemisinin will provide protection against oxidative stress in mouse neuronal Neuro2A cells. Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is an anti-oxidant enzyme that protects against oxidative damage [3]. Growth Arrest and DNA Damage-inducible 45 alpha (Gadd45a) is involved in DNA repair and is a common biomarker for DNA damage[4]. SOD1 and Gadd45a mRNA expression was measured through RT-qPCR and analyzed using the 2-∆∆Ct method. Cell viability was measured using NucBlue, Annexin V, and propidium iodide to differentiate between apoptosis and necrosis. Cell counts were quantified using ImageJ (NIH). Our results showed that lower concentrations of 100 µg/mL A. annua treatment significantly reduced apoptotic cell death during oxidative stress. We also saw a general trend of decreasing Gadd45a mRNA expression at lower concentrations of A. annua treatment and a significant decrease in SOD1 mRNA levels from 0 to 100 µg/mL. This study suggests that lower concentrations of A. annua treatment prior to oxidative stress can increase cell viability and could protect Neuro2A cells from oxidative stress. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanism of A. annua’s and artemisinin’s medicinal properties and further test their potential neuroprotective effects.

Thesis Completion Year


Thesis Completion Semester


Thesis Chair

Hawthorne, Alicia


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Thesis Discipline

Biomedical Sciences



Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus Access


Campus Location

Orlando (Main) Campus

Available for download on Saturday, May 03, 2025