Behavioral and biochemical evidences for nootropic activity of boldine in young and aged mice

Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Jan;97:895-904. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.11.011. Epub 2017 Nov 7.


Boldine, a bioactive compound, has been reported to be neuroprotective, but its effect on learning and memory has not been explored. So, the present study was aimed to study the effect of boldine on the learning and memory of the Swiss albino male young and aged mice. Boldine (1.5, 3 and 6mg/kg, po) and physostigmine salicylate (0.1mg/kg, ip) were administered to separate groups of mice for 7 successive days. Morris water maze was utilized as a behavioural model to study the effect of drugs on learning and memory of mice. Boldine and physostigmine significantly improved learning and memory of young as well as aged mice, as indicated by decrease in escape latency time during training session and increase in time spent in target quadrant during retrieval session. No significant effect on locomotor activities of mice was observed due to drug treatments. Memory-enhancing activity of boldine (3mg/kg) was found to be comparable to physostigmine. Boldine significantly reversed scopolamine-, sodium nitrite- and aging-induced amnesia in mice. Moreover, boldine attenuated oxidative stress, as shown by a significant decrease in brain malondialdehyde as well as brain nitrite levels and a significant increase in brain GSH level of young as well as aged mice. Brain acetylcholinesterase activity was also significantly inhibited by boldine in young as well as aged mice. In conclusion boldine administered for 7 successive days exhibited significant improvement of learning and memory of young and aged mice possibly through inhibition of brain acetylcholinesterase activity and alleviation of brain oxidative stress.

Keywords: Amnesia; Boldine; Learning; Memory; Nootropic.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / drug effects
  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Age Factors
  • Amnesia / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Aporphines / administration & dosage
  • Aporphines / pharmacology*
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Maze Learning / drug effects*
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Nitrites / metabolism
  • Nootropic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Physostigmine / analogs & derivatives
  • Physostigmine / pharmacology


  • Aporphines
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Nitrites
  • Nootropic Agents
  • physostigmine salicylate
  • Malondialdehyde
  • boldine
  • Physostigmine
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Glutathione