Neuroprotective effects of Dioscorea opposita on scopolamine-induced memory impairment in in vivo behavioral tests and in vitro assays

Min Hye Yang, Kee Dong Yoon, Young-Won Chin, Ju Hyun Park, Seung Hyun Kim, Young Choong Kim, Jinwoong Kim
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2009 January 12, 121 (1): 130-4

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Plants belong to the genus Dioscorea have long been used as edible tuber crops in many tropical and subtropical areas and as a traditional herbal medicine in oriental countries including China, Japan and Korea.

AIM OF THE STUDY: In this study, in vivo and in vitro tests were carried out to evaluate the cognitive enhancing effects of CHCl(3)-soluble extract from Dioscorea opposita against scopolamine-induced amnesic mice and glutamate- and H(2)O(2)-treated cortical neurons of rats.

MATERIALS, METHODS AND RESULTS: Acute treatment (200 mg/kg body weight, p.o.) and 10 days' daily administration (50 mg/kg body weight, p.o.) of CHCl(3)-soluble extract showed significant spatial learning and memory improvement on mice. Furthermore, the neuroprotective effects on glutamate- and H(2)O(2)-induced neurotoxicity in primary cultured cortical neurons of rats were assessed. Pretreatment with the extract was found to impart significant protection against neurotoxicity.

CONCLUSIONS: These in vivo and in vitro results suggest that the Dioscorea opposita has neuroprotective effects on memory impairment related neurodegenerative diseases.

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