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. Mar-Apr 2014;9(2):107-14.

Memory-improving Activity of Melissa Officinalis Extract in Naïve and Scopolamine-Treated Rats

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Free PMC article

Memory-improving Activity of Melissa Officinalis Extract in Naïve and Scopolamine-Treated Rats

M Soodi et al. Res Pharm Sci. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Melissa officinalis L. (Labiatae) traditionally used in treating neurological disorders has also been identified as a memory-enhancing herb. The extract of M. officinalis has a cholinergic property. The role of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons, the neurons that are destroyed in Alzheimer's disease (AD), in learning and memory, is also well known. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of cholinergic system on the memory improving activity of M. officinalis extract. The leaves of M. officinalis were extracted with ethanol 80% using the maceration method. Rats received intra-peritoneal injections of M. officinalis extract in different doses (50-400 mg/kg) alone or in combination with scopolamine (1 mg/kg) before being trained in a Morris water maze (MWM) in a single-day training protocol. After training, the acetylcholinesterase enzyme (AChE) activity was measured in the hippocampus. Administration of M. officinalis extract (200 mg/kg) could significantly enhance learning and memory of naïve rats (p<0.001) and significantly ameliorate scopolamine-induced learning deficit, but the effect of the extract was not dose dependent, and doses above 200 mg/kg could neither enhance memory in naïve rats nor reverse scopolamine-induced memory impairment. Also, inhibition of AChE activity was observed in both naïve and scopolamine-induced memory-impaired rats. These results suggest that M. officinalis can improve memory and that the cholinergic property of the extract may contribute to the memory-improving effects observed in this study. Then M. officinalis extract has potential therapeutic value in alleviating certain memory impairment observed in AD.

Keywords: Acetylcholinesterase activity; Alzheimer's disease; Melissa officinalis; Memory; Scopolamine; Water maze.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
The effect of M. officinalis extract on escape latency (A) and swimming speed (B) of naïve rats in Morris water maze task during training sessions. Training performed in one day and consisted of two blocks, and each block included four trials. Each animal received extract or normal saline intra-peritoneally 1 h before training. Each column represents mean ± SEM for 8 animals. *Represent significant differences between block 1 and block 2 within each group (ANOVA, ***p<0.001). +Represent significant differences versus normal saline-treated group in block 2 (ANOVA, +;p<0.05, ++;p<0.01).
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
The effect of M. officinalis extract on time spent in target quadrant (A) and number of platform area crossing (B) of naïve rat in Morris water maze task during probe trail. Each animal received extract or normal saline intraperitoneally 1 h before training in training day and the probe trail was performed 24 h after training session. Each column represents mean ± SEM for 8 animals. *Represent significant differences versus normal saline-treated group (ANOVA*p<0.05, ***p<0.001).
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
The effect of M. officinalis extract on scopolamine-induced memory impairment in Morris water maze task during training sessions. Training performed in one day and consisted of two blocks, and each block included four trials. Each animal administrated intra-peritoneally extract 1 h and scopolamine 1 mg/kg, 30 min before training. Each column represents mean ± SEM for escape latency (A) and swimming speed (B) for 8 animals. Sco:Scopolamine. *Significant differences between block 1 and block 2 within each group (ANOVA, *p<0.05, ***p<0.001). +Significant differences versus scopolamine-treated group in block 2 (ANOVA, ++p<0.01).
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
The effect of M. officinalis extract on scopolamine-induced memory impairment in Morris water maze task during probe trail. Each animal administrated intra-peritoneally extract 1 h and scopolamine 30 min before training in training day and the probe trail was performed 24 h later. Each column represents Mean ± SEM for time spent in target quadrant (A) and number of platform area crossing (B) for 8 animals. Sco:Scopolamine. *Versus normal saline-treated group (ANOVA, *p<0.05, **p<0.01, ***p<0.001). +Versus scopolamine-treated group (ANOVA, +p<0.05, ++p<0.01).

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