Neuroprotective effects of icariin on memory impairment and neurochemical deficits in senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mice.
Brain Res. 2010 Jun 2;1334:73-83. Epub 2010 Apr 7. PMID: 20380820
Research Center for Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China.
The senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) is a novel aging model characterized by early onset and rapid advancement of senescence. In the present study, 6-month-old male SAMP8 mice were orally administered icariin (75, 150mg/kg) for 15weeks. Mice were submitted to passageway water maze test and step-down passive avoidance test for evaluating cognitive impairments. The HPLC-EC technique was used to determine the monoamine contents in the brain. The effects of icariin on oxidative stress and the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity of SAMP8 mice were also investigated. We found that icariin treatment significantly prevented learning and memory impairments of SAMP8 mice in passageway water maze test and step-down test. Icariin could partly reverse alterations of monoamines and metabolites levels in the cortex and hippocampus of SAMP8 mice. Furthermore, icariin-treated SAMP8 mice had significantly decreased malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO) contents, lowered nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity and higher glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities in the brain homogenates and serum. Meanwhile, the acetylcholinesterase activity was markedly inhibited after icariin administration. However, the positive control piracetam did not show significant beneficial effects. In conclusion, the present findings demonstrated that the improvement of icariin on cognitive impairments in SAMP8 mice may be due to increasing monoamines levels, inhibiting oxidative damage and decreasing acetylcholinesterase activity.