Effect of kai xin san on learning and memory in a rat model of paradoxical sleep deprivation

J Med Food. 2013 Apr;16(4):280-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.2486. Epub 2013 Mar 20.


The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of kai xin san (KXS, at doses of 500, 250, and 125 mg/kg body weight per day), a well-known traditional Chinese medicine, on learning and memory in paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD)-induced cognition deficit rats. Two behavior tests (the Open Field test and the Morris water maze task) were used for testing the effects of KXS on a PSD-induced learning and memory deficit model. Furthermore, its effect on the glutamic acid (GLU) and γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain tissue, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB), and phosphorylated-CREB (p-CREB) expression in the hippocampus was also tested. KXS exerted the greatest cognition against the 48 h PSD-induced cognitive deficit and these effects may be mediated by decreasing the GLU and GABA levels and increasing the levels of BDNF, CREB, and p-CREB. This study indicates that the effect of KXS on learning and memory in a rat model of PSD could be associated with the modulation of neurotransmitter levels and the expression of some genes in the brain that contribute to memory functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / metabolism
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Gene Expression
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Learning / drug effects
  • Learning Disabilities / drug therapy*
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology
  • Learning Disabilities / metabolism
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Memory Disorders / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications*
  • Sleep Deprivation / metabolism
  • Sleep, REM*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Kai-Xin-San
  • Glutamic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid