Protective effect of Cnestis ferruginea and its active constituent on scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice: a behavioral and biochemical study

Ismail O Ishola, Santoshkumar Tota, Olufunmilayo O Adeyemi, Esther O Agbaje, Tadigulopulla Narender, Rakesh Shukla
Pharmaceutical Biology 2013, 51 (7): 825-35

CONTEXT: Cnestis ferruginea Vahl ex DC (Connaraceae) (CF) is used in traditional African medicine in the management of CNS disorders. The degeneration and dysfunction of cholinergic neurons is closely associated with the cognitive deficits of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and oxidative stress has been implicated in its pathogenesis. However, the influence of C. ferruginea on the cholinergic system and oxidative stress parameters has not been explored.

OBJECTIVE: The present study investigates the effect of methanol root extract of C. ferruginea and its active constituent amentoflavone (CF-2) on memory, oxidative stress and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in scopolamine-induced amnesia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Mice were orally treated with CF (25-200 mg/kg), CF-2 (6.25-25 mg/kg) for three days and memory impairment was induced by intraperitoneal injection of scopolamine (3 mg/kg). Memory function was evaluated by passive avoidance and Morris water maze tests. Biochemical parameters of oxidative stress and cholinergic function were estimated in brain after the completion of behavioral studies.

RESULTS: Scopolamine caused memory impairment along with increased AChE activity and oxidative stress in mice brain. Oral administration of CF and CF-2 significantly prevented scopolamine-induced memory impairment, inhibited AChE and enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity in the brain following scopolamine injection as compared to vehicle administration in scopolamine (i.p.)-treated mice that were comparable to the effect of tacrine.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated that C. ferruginea and its constituent have significant protective effect against scopolamine-induced memory deficits in mice that can be attributed to their antioxidant and antiAChE activity.

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