Cognitive improvements and reduction in amyloid plaque deposition by saikosaponin D treatment in a murine model of Alzheimer's disease.
Exp Ther Med. 2020 Aug ;20(2):1082-1090. Epub 2020 May 17. PMID: 32742347
Alzheimer's disease (AD), is a severe neurodegenerative disease that currently lacks an optimally effective therapeutic agent for its management. Saikosaponin D (SSD) is a component extracted from the herbthat is commonly used in Chinese medicine. Although SSD has been reported to exert neuroprotective effects, its pharmacological role in AD has not been previously elucidated. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate whether SSD treatment improves the cognitive function and pathological features of 3xTg mice, a triple-transgenic mouse model of AD that displays classical pathological features of AD. The effects of SSD treatment on the behavioral, histological and physiological features of the animal were quantified. Results from the behavioral experiments on the SSD-treated 3xTg mice identified a significant reduction in memory impairment. In addition, histological staining results indicated that SSD application could preserve the morphology of neurons, reduce apoptosis and significantly inhibit amyloid-β deposition in the hippocampus of 3xTg mice. SSD treatment also decelerated the activation of microglia and astrocytes in the hippocampus of 3xTg mice, possibly via the inhibition of the NF-κB signal transduction pathway. Therefore, the present study demonstrated the protective effects of SSD against progressive neurodegeneration and identified the potential underlying pharmacological mechanism. It was speculated that SSD may serve as a possible therapeutic agent in AD treatment in the future.