p-Coumaric acid enhances long-term potentiation and recovers scopolamine-induced learning and memory impairments.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 10 21 ;492(3):493-499. Epub 2017 Aug 19. PMID: 28830814
Due to the improvement of medical level, life expectancy increased. But the increased incidence of cognitive disorders is an emerging social problem. Current drugs for dementia treatment can only delay the progress rather than cure. p-Coumaric acid is a phenylpropanoic acid derived from aromatic amino acids and known as a precursor for flavonoids such as resveratrol and naringenin. It was shown to reduce oxidative stress, inhibit genotoxicity and exert neuroprotection. Based on these findings, we evaluated whether p-coumaric acid can protect scopolamine induced learning and memory impairment by measuring LTP in organotypic hippocampal slice and cognitive behaviors in rats. p-Coumaric acid dose-dependently increased the total activity of fEPSP after high frequency stimulation and attenuated scopolamine-induced blockade of fEPSP in the hippocampal CA1 area. In addition, while scopolamine shortened the step-through latency in the passive avoidance test and prolonged the latency as well as reduced the latency in the target quadrant in the Morris water maze test, co-treatment of p-coumaric acid improved avoidance memory and long-term retention of spatial memory in behavioral tests. Since p-coumaric acid improved electrophysiological and cognitive functional deterioration by scopolamine, it may have regulatory effects on central cholinergic synapses and is expected to improve cognitive problems caused by abnormality of the cholinergic nervous system.