Ethnopharmacological relevance: The fruits of Schisandra chinensis (Trucz.) Baill. (Schisandraceae) which have been used as a tonic especially for kidney yin deficiency in Chinese traditional medicine are recently receiving attention for its preventive activity on age-related neurodegenerative diseases. A variety of studies demonstrated the cognitive-enhancing effects of Schisandra chinensis through animal tests and also in clinical trials.
Aim of study: In this study, we attempted to investigate the effects of the lignan-riched extract of Schisandra chinensis fruits (ESP-806) on neurotoxicity and memory impairment induced by Aβ1-42 injection in mice.
Materials and methods: The fruits of Schisandra chinensis were extracted with the mixture of n-hexane:ethanol (9:1), which is riched with bioactive dibenzocyclooctadiene lignans, schizandrin, gomisin N, wuweigisu C. After oral treatment of ESP-806 (100 mg/kg body weight) followed by injection of Aβ1-42 (2 μg/mouse, i.c.v.), novel object recognition and passive avoidance tests were evaluated. To verify the cognition enhancing effects of ESP-806, we examined the effects of ESP-806 on the activities of β-secretase and acetylcholinesterase, and the contents of Aβ and the reduced glutathione within the cortex and hippocampus of Aβ-injected mice.
Results: Oral treatment of ESP-806 (100 mg/kg body weight) significantly attenuated Aβ1-42-induced memory impairment evaluated by behavioral tests. Furthermore, the treatment of ESP-806 attenuated the elevation of β-secretase activity accompanying the reduced level of Aβ1-42 in the cortex and hippocampus of the brain. ESP-806 also significantly inhibited the acetylcholinesterase activity in the hippocampus and increased the content of the reduced glutathione in the cortex and hippocampus of mouse brain.
Conclusions: These data suggested that the extract of Schisandra chinensis fruits riched with dibenzocyclooctadiene lignans may be useful in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
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