Effects of caffeic acid on learning deficits in a model of Alzheimer's disease.
Int J Mol Med. 2016 Sep ;38(3):869-75. Epub 2016 Jul 18. PMID: 27430591
Caffeic acid is a type of phenolic acid and organic acid. It is found in food (such as tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, blueberries and wheat), beverages (such as wine, tea, coffee and apple juice) as well as Chinese herbal medicines. In the present study, we examined the effects of caffeic acid on learning deficits in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The rats were randomly divided into three groups: i) control group, ii) AD model group and iii) caffeic acid group. Caffeic acid significantly rescued learning deficits and increased cognitive function in the rats with AD as demonstrated by the Morris water maze task. Furthermore, caffeicacid administration resulted in a significant decrease in acetylcholinesterase activity and nitrite generation in the rats with AD compared with the AD model group. Furthermore, caffeic acid suppressed oxidative stress, inflammation, nuclear factor‑κB‑p65 protein expression and caspase‑3 activity as well as regulating the protein expression of p53 and phosphorylated (p-)p38 MAPK expression in the rats with AD. These experimental results indicate that the beneficial effects of caffeic acid on learning deficits in a model of AD were due to the suppression of oxidative stress and inflammation through the p38 MAPK signaling pathway.