Inhibition of scopolamine-induced memory and mitochondrial impairment by betanin

J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2022 Jul;36(7):e23076. doi: 10.1002/jbt.23076. Epub 2022 Apr 12.


Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are identified to contribute to the mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Scopolamine (SCO) as a potent drug for inducing memory and learning impairment is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. In AD clinical trials molecules with antioxidant properties have shown modest benefit. Betanin as a multifunctional molecule with powerful antioxidative properties may be effective in the treatment of neurodegenerative. Hence, this study was designed to investigate the possible therapeutic effect of betanin against SCO-induced AD on Wistar rats. SCO (1 mg/kg) was administrated intraperitoneally to induce the AD in Wistar rats. The rats were treated with betanin doses (25 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg) intraperitoneally for 9 consecutive days. At the end of the 9th day, the animals were subjected to behavioral examination such as novel object recognition and passive avoidance tests and killed to study the mitochondrial and histological parameters. The results showed attenuation of SCO-induced memory and learning impairment by betanin at 50 mg/kg dose. Also, mitochondrial toxicity parameters such as mitochondrial membrane potential collapse, mitochondrial swelling, decreased activity of succinate dehydrogenase, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production were reversed by betanin (50 mg/kg) compared to the SCO group. In addition, the ameliorative effect of betanin against SCO was demonstrated in histopathological results of hippocampus. The present investigation established that the betanin ameliorates the SCO-induced memory impairments, tissue injuries, and mitochondrial dysfunction by reducing mitochondrial ROS, which may be due to the potent antioxidant action of betanin.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; antioxidants; beetroot red; bioactive compounds; neurodegenerative disease.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants
  • Betacyanins / pharmacology
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Scopolamine* / metabolism
  • Scopolamine* / toxicity


  • Antioxidants
  • Betacyanins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Scopolamine