Sesamol alleviates chronic intermittent hypoxia-induced cognitive deficits via inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammation in rats.
Neuroreport. 2021 01 13 ;32(2):105-111. PMID: 33323839
Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) is a major pathophysiological feature of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause oxidative stress and inflammation which can further impair the nervous system. Cognitive impairment is a common complication of the nervous system in OSA. Sesamol, a natural extract from Sesamum plants, is believed to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammation capacity, which has a powerful neuroprotective function. But whether sesamol can improve CIH-induced cognitive impairment is unclear. This study aimed to explore whether sesamol can improve CIH-induced cognitive impairment and its relative mechanism in the model rats with OSA. Rats were exposed to CIH for 8 h a day for 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks separately and concurrently were treated with sesamol (20 mg/kg/day, intraperitoneal). The Morris water maze (MWM) test was used to evaluate their learning and memory function. The activity of the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and the level of malondialdehyde were measured to evaluate the oxidative stress in the hippocampus of the rats. The levels of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) in the hippocampus were quantified to analyse neuroinflammation by ELISA. The MWM test showed that sesamol improved learning and memory impairment in CIH-exposed rats. We also found that the sesamol-treated CIH-exposed rats had significantly increased the activity of SOD, as well as reduced the level of malondialdehyde in the hippocampus. In addition, sesamol also reduced the levels of TNF-α and IL-1β in the hippocampus. These data show that sesamol is able to alleviate cognitive impairments in CIH-exposed rats, with its neuroprotective effects likely inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammation.