Centella asiatica is considered herbal plant for increasing memory performance. Brain-derived neurotrophin factor (BDNF) has a significant role in memory formation process, while stress causes memory impairment. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effects of ethanol extracts of Centella asiatica leaf on serum BDNF concentration of rats that was taken serially before and after chronic electrical stress. Materials and Methods : Twenty male rats (Sprague Dawley) were divided into four groups: control/aquades group and groups treated with different doses (mg/kg) of Centella asiatica :150 (CA150), 300 (CA300) and 600 (CA600). Each rat underwent memory exercise for nine days before and after electrical stress and oral administration of ethanol extracts of Centella asiatica for twenty-eight days. Blood sampling was taken serially from rats’ tail for four times : (1) before memory exercise, (2) after memory exercise (before stress), (3) after chronic stress, and (4) after memory exercise (following chronic stress). Concentration of serum BDNF was assessed using ELISA. Results: There was no significant difference in serum BDNF concentration between groups in first and second serum sampling, which was prior to chronic stress and administration of different treatments. However, there was significant difference in third and fourth serum sampling between groups. Mean concentration of serum BDNF (ng/ml) in third and fourth sampling for control group, CA150, CA300, and CA600, respectively were 1.88+0.21 &1.93+0.24; 2.29+0.13 & 2.01+0.22; 2.29+0.08 &1.86+0.11; 2.71+0.70 and 2.99+0.27 (p<0.05). Conclusion: Ethanol extracts of Centella asiatica leaf increases serum BDNF concentration in rats after chronic stress.

Keywords: stress, memory, Centella asiatica, BDNF

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