Total isoflavones from soybean and tempeh reversed scopolamine-induced amnesia, improved cholinergic activities and reduced neuroinflammation in brain

Food Chem Toxicol. 2014 Mar:65:120-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.12.025. Epub 2013 Dec 25.


The present study was undertaken to compare the neuroprotective effects between total isoflavones from soybean and tempeh against scopolamine-induced cognitive dysfunction. Total isoflavones (10, 20 and 40mg/kg) from soybean (SI) and tempeh (TI) were administered orally to different groups of rats (n=6) for 15days. Piracetam (400mg/kg, p.o.) was used as a standard drug while scopolamine (1mg/kg, i.p.) was used to induce amnesia in the animals. Radial arm and elevated plus mazes served as exteroceptive behavioural models to measure memory. Brain cholinergic activities (acetylcholine and acetylcholinesterase) and neuroinflammatory activities (COX-1, COX-2, IL-1β and IL10) were also assessed. Treatment with SI and TI significantly reversed the scopolamine effect and improved memory with TI group at 40mg/kg, p.o. exhibiting the best improvement (p<0.001) in rats. The TI (10, 20 and 40mg/kg, p.o.) significantly increased (p<0.001) acetylcholine and reduced acetylcholinesterase levels. Meanwhile, only a high dose (40mg/kg, p.o.) of SI showed significant improvement (p<0.05) in the cholinergic activities. Neuroinflammation study also showed that TI (40mg/kg, p.o.) was able to reduce inflammation better than SI. The TI ameliorates scopolamine-induced memory in rats through the cholinergic neuronal pathway and by prevention of neuroinflammation.

Keywords: Acetylcholine; Acetylcholinesterase; Memory; Neuroinflammation; Scopolamine; Tempeh.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism
  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Amnesia / chemically induced
  • Amnesia / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Encephalitis / chemically induced
  • Encephalitis / prevention & control*
  • Glycine max / chemistry*
  • Isoflavones / isolation & purification*
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Maze Learning
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / metabolism*
  • Scopolamine / toxicity*


  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Isoflavones
  • Receptors, Cholinergic
  • Scopolamine
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Acetylcholine