Cognitive enhancing effects of alpha asarone in amnesic mice by influencing cholinergic and antioxidant defense mechanisms

Hemant Kumar, Byung-Wook Kim, Soo-Yeol Song, Jun-Soo Kim, In-Su Kim, Young-Sook Kwon, Sushruta Koppula, Dong-Kug Choi
Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 2012, 76 (8): 1518-22
The effect of α-asarone on impairment of cognitive performance caused by amnesic drug scopolamine was investigated. Treatment with α-asarone attenuated scopolamine-induced cognitive deficits as evaluated by passive avoidance and Y-maze test. Administration of α-asarone for 15 d improved memory and cognitive function as indicated by an increase in transfer latency time and spontaneous alternation in passive avoidance and the Y-maze test respectively. To understand the action of α-asarone, the levels of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), malondialdehyde (MDA), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the hippocampus (Hippo) and cerebral cortex (CC) of scopolamine-induced amnesic mice were evaluated. The mice treated with Scopolamine showed increased activity of AChE, MDA and SOD levels in both the Hippo and the CC area. Treatment with α-asarone attenuated the increased activity of AChE and normalized the MDA and SOD levels in the Hippo and the CC area in the scopolamine treated amnesic mice. These results suggest that α-asarone has a beneficial effect in cognitive impairment induced by dysfunction of cholinergic system in brain through inhibition of AChE activity and by influencing the antioxidant defense mechanism.

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