Quercetin promotes learning and memory performance concomitantly with neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the adult rat dentate gyrus.
Int J Dev Neurosci. 2019 May ;74:18-26. Epub 2019 Feb 26. PMID: 30822517
The decline in neurogenesis is a very critical problem in Alzheimer disease. Different biological activities have been reported for medicinal application of quercetin. Herein, we investigated the neurogenesis potential of quercetin in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease induced by amyloid-beta injection. Rats were randomly divided into Control, Alzheimer + Saline and Alzheimer + Quercetin groups. Following the administration of Amyloid-beta, rats in the Alzheimer + Quercetin group received 40 mg/kg/day quercetin orally for one month. Our data demonstrated amyloid-β injection could impair learning and memory processing in rats indicated by passive avoidance test evaluation. We noted that one-month quercetin treatment alleviated the detrimental effects of amyloid-β on spatial learning and memory parameters using Morris water maze analysis. Quercetin was found to increase the number of proliferating neural stem/progenitor cells.Notably, quercetin increased the number of DCX-expressing cells, indicating the active dynamic growth of neural progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. We further observed that the quercetin improved the number of BrdU/NeuN positive cells contributed to enhanced adult neurogenesis.Based on our results, quercetin had the potential to promote the expression of BDNF, NGF, CREB, and EGR-1 genes involved in regulating neurogenesis. These data suggest that quercetin can play a valuable role in alleviating Alzheimer's disease symptoms by enhancing adult neurogenesis mechanism.