The memory-ameliorating effects of Artemisia princeps var. orientalis against cholinergic dysfunction in mice.
Am J Chin Med. 2012 ;40(5):993-1005. PMID: 22928830
Artemisia princeps var. orientalis (Compositae) is widely distributed in China, Japan and Korea and is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative activities. The ethyl acetate fraction of ethanolic extract of A. princeps var. orientalis (AEA) was found to inhibit acetylcholinesterase activity in a dose-dependent manner in vitro (IC(50) value: 541.4± 67.5 μg/ml). Therefore, we investigated the effects of AEA on scopolamine-induced learning and memory impairment using the passive avoidance, the Y-maze, and the Morris water maze tasks in mice. AEA (100 or 200 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly ameliorated scopolamine-induced cognitive impairments in the passive avoidance and Y-maze tasks (p<0.05). In the Morris water maze task, AEA (200 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly shortened escape latencies in training trials and increased both swimming time spent in the target zone and probe crossing numbers during the probe trial as compared with scopolamine-treated mice (p<0.05). Additionally, the ameliorating effect of AEA on scopolamine-induced memory impairment was antagonized by a subeffective dose of MK-801. These results suggest that AEA could be an effective treatment against cholinergic dysfunction and its effect is mediated by the enhancement of the cholinergic neurotransmitter system via NMDA receptor signaling or acetylcholinesterase inhibition.