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Effects of Cycloastragenol on Alzheimer's Disease in Rats by Reducing Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Apoptosis.

BACKGROUND: As individuals age, they may develop Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is characterized by difficulties in speech, memory loss, and other issues related to neural function. Cycloastragenol is an active ingredient of Astragalus trojanus and has been used to treat inflammation, aging, heart disease, and cancer.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore the potential therapeutic benefits of cycloastragenol in rats with experimentally induced AD. Moreover, the underlying molecular mechanisms were also evaluated by measuring Nrf2 and HO-1, which are involved in oxidative stress, NFκB and TNF-α, which are involved in inflammation, and BCL2, BAX, and caspase-3, which are involved in apoptosis.

METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were given 70 mg/kg of aluminum chloride intraperitoneally daily for six weeks to induce AD. Following AD induction, the rats were given 25 mg/kg of cycloastragenol daily by oral gavage for three weeks. Hippocampal sections were stained with hematoxylin/ eosin and with anti-caspase-3 antibodies. The Nrf2, HO-1, NFκB, TNF-α, BCL2, BAX, and caspase-3 gene expressions and protein levels in the samples were analyzed.

RESULTS: Cycloastragenol significantly improved rats' behavioral test performance. It also strengthened the organization of the hippocampus. Cycloastragenol significantly improved behavioral performance and improved hippocampal structure in rats. It caused a marked decrease in the expression of NFκB, TNF-α, BAX, and caspase-3, which was associated with an increase in the expression of BCL2, Nrf2, and HO-1.

CONCLUSION: Cycloastragenol improved the structure of the hippocampus in rats with AD. It enhanced the outcomes of behavioral tests, decreased the concentration of AChE in the brain, and exerted antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Antiapoptotic effects were also noted, leading to significant improvements in cognitive function, memory, and behavior in treated rats.

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