Guarana (Paullinia cupana) ameliorates memory impairment and modulates acetylcholinesterase activity in Poloxamer-407-induced hyperlipidemia in rat brain

Physiol Behav. 2017 Jan 1:168:11-19. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.10.003. Epub 2016 Oct 6.


Hyperlipidemia is a risk factor for the development of cognitive dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Natural compounds have recently received special attention in relation to the treatment of disease due to their low cost and wide margin of safety. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the possible preventive effect of guarana powder (Paullinia cupana) on memory impairment and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in the brain structures of rats with Poloxamer-407-induced hyperlipidemia. Adult male Wistar rats were pretreated with guarana (12.5, 25 and 50mg/kg/day) and caffeine (0.2mg/kg/day) by gavage for a period of 30days. Simvastatin (0.04mg/kg) was administered as a comparative standard. Acute hyperlipidemia was induced with intraperitoneal injections of 500mg/kg of Poloxamer-407. Memory tests and evaluations of anxiety were performed. The cortex, cerebellum, hippocampus, hypothalamus and striatum were separated to assess acetylcholinesterase activity. Our results revealed that guarana powder was able to reduce the levels of TC and LDL-C in a manner similar to simvastatin. Guarana powder also partially reduced the liver damage caused by hyperlipidemia. Guarana was able to prevent changes in the activity of AChE and improve memory impairment due to hyperlipidemia. Guarana powder may therefore be a source of promising phytochemicals that can be used as adjuvant therapy in the management of hyperlipidemia and cognitive disorders.

Keywords: Caffeine; Hyperlipidemia; Memory; Paullinia cupana; Simvastatin.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Caffeine / therapeutic use*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias* / chemically induced
  • Hyperlipidemias* / drug therapy
  • Hyperlipidemias* / pathology
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Paullinia / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Poloxamer / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Recognition, Psychology / drug effects
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surface-Active Agents / toxicity*
  • Theobromine / therapeutic use*
  • Theophylline / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Plant Extracts
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • guarana powder
  • Poloxamer
  • Caffeine
  • Cholesterol
  • Theophylline
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Theobromine