Background: Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) and Ginkgo biloba extract (e.g., EGB 761) were shown to ameliorate cognitive and memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the exact mechanism remains elusive. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible mechanisms of HBO and EGB 761 via the function of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) pathway.
Methods: AD rats were induced by injecting β-amyloid 25-35 into the hippocampus. All animals were divided into six groups: Normal, sham, AD model, HBO (2 atmosphere absolute; 60 min/d), EGB 761 (20 mg·kg-1·d-1 ), and HBO/EGB 761 groups. Morris water maze tests were used to assess cognitive, and memory capacities of rats; TdT-mediated dUTP Nick-End Labeling staining and Western blotting were used to analyze apoptosis and NF-κB pathway-related proteins in hippocampus tissues.
Results: Morris water maze tests revealed that EGB 761 and HBO significantly improved the cognitive and memory ability of AD rats. In addition, the protective effect of combinational therapy (HBO/EGB 761) was superior to either HBO or EGB 761 alone. In line, reduced apoptosis with NF-κB pathway activation was observed in hippocampus neurons treated by HBO and EGB 761.
Conclusions: Our results suggested that HBO and EGB 761 improve cognitive and memory capacity in a rat model of AD. The protective effects are associated with the reduced apoptosis with NF-κB pathway activation in hippocampus neurons.