Protective effect of betulinic acid against intracerebroventricular streptozotocin induced cognitive impairment and neuronal damage in rats: Possible neurotransmitters and neuroinflammatory mechanism.
Pharmacol Rep. 2018 Jun ;70(3):540-548. Epub 2017 Dec 6. PMID: 29674241
BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to explore the therapeutic potential of Betulinic acid (BA) in streptozotocin (STZ) induced memory damage in experimental rats.
METHODS: STZ (3mg/kg bilaterally) as intracerebroventrical (icv) route was administered on day 1 and 3 in rats. Donepezil (5mg/kg/day po), used as standard, and BA (5, 10 and 15mg/kg/day po) were administered after 1h of 1st STZ infusion up to 21days. Object recognition task (ORT) for non-spatial, Morris water maze (MWM) for spatial and locomotor activity were performed to evaluate behavioral changes in rats. On 22nd day, animals were decapitated and hippocampus was separated to perform biochemical (AChE, LPO, GSH, nitrite), neuroinflammatory (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6), neurotransmitters (NTs) (dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin) analysis.
RESULTS: STZ infusion significantly impaired memory as observed in MWM and ORT, increased oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory cytokine's level and altered NTs level. Moreover, BA demonstrated a neuroprotective effect in a dose-dependent manner. BA dose dependently (5, 10 and 15mg/kg) significantly restore STZ induced memory changes and pathological abnormalities in rat brain.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the current study suggests that BA protect rat brain from STZ induced neuronal damage via acting through multiple mechanisms and would be used to curb cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative disorders especially AD.