Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 attenuates hippocampal neuronal loss and cognitive dysfunction resulting from chronic restraint stress in ovariectomized rats.
ABSTRACT We have recently found that a combination of ovariectomy (OVX) and chronic restraint stress causes cognitive dysfunction and reduces hippocampal CA3 neurons in female rats and that estrogen replacement suppresses the OVX/stress-induced behavioral and morphological changes. In this study, we examined the effect of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761), a popular herbal supplement, on the cognitive dysfunction and neuromorphological change in OVX/stress-subjected rats. Female Fisher 344 rats were randomly divided into three groups: vehicle-treated OVX, EGb 761 (50 mg/kg) -treated OVX and vehicle-treated sham-operated control groups. Two months after ovariectomy, all animals received restraint stress for 21 days (6 h/day), and were then subjected to a novel object recognition test followed by morphological examination by Nissl staining. EGb 761 was orally administered once daily until the behavioral analysis was done. Treatment with EGb 761 improved memory impairment and neuronal loss of hippocampus in the OVX/stress-subjected group in the same ways as 17beta-estradiol. On the other hand, EGb 761 did not affect the loss of bone mineral density and increase in body weight after OVX, although 17beta-estradiol attenuated them. These results have important implications for neuroprotective and cognition enhancing effects of EGb 761 in postmenopausal women and suggest that the effects are mediated by a different mechanism from estrogen.
- SourceAvailable from: Hideyuki Takeuchi[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Amyloid β, a neurotoxic protein, causes disruption of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, and induces cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease. We previously revealed that fingolimod, a new oral immunosuppressant used to treat multiple sclerosis, ameliorates oligomeric amyloid β-induced neuronal damage via up-regulation of neuronal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Here, we showed that oral administration of fingolimod ameliorated the impairment in object recognition memory and associative learning in mice injected with amyloid β. This effect was associated with restoration of normal BDNF expression levels in the cerebral cortices and hippocampi, suggesting that neuroprotection was mediated by up-regulation of neuronal BDNF levels. Therefore, fingolimod may provide therapeutic effects in patients with Alzheimer's disease.Behavioural brain research 04/2014; 268. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.03.046
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neuronal PAS domain 4 (NPAS4), a brain-specific helix-loop-helix transcription factor, has recently been shown to regulate the development of GABAergic inhibitory neurons. We previously reported that Npas4 mRNA expression levels were reduced in the hippocampus of mice exposed to social isolation or restraint stress, which was accompanied by impairment of memory, emotional behavior, and hippocampal neurogenesis. Therefore, the reduction of NPAS4 expression may play a role in stress-induced brain dysfunction. In this study, to investigate the transcriptional regulation of Npas4 by stress, we focused on the effect of glucocorticoids (GCs) upon Npas4 transcription. Corticosterone treatment reduced Npas4 expression in the frontal cortex and hippocampus, whereas adrenalectomy caused an increase in expression. GC receptor (GR) antagonist, mifepristone, inhibited the stress-induced reduction of Npas4 expression. Putative negative glucocorticoid response elements (GREs) were found -2000 to -1000 upstream of the Npas4 transcription initiation site. Npas4 promoter activity was increased by mifepristone or by mutation of the negative GRE sequences. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that restraint stress increased the binding of GR to Npas4 promoter region in the hippocampus. These results suggest that transcription of Npas4 is down-regulated by stress via the binding of agonist-bound GR to its promoter.Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2012; 123(5). DOI:10.1111/jnc.12034
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neurogenesis in the hippocampus occurs throughout life in a wide range of species and could be associated with hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Stress is well established to seriously perturb physiological/psychological homeostasis and affect hippocampal function. In the present study, to investigate the effect of chronic restraint stress in early life on hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampus-dependent memory, 3-week-old mice were subjected to restraint stress 6 days a week for 4 weeks. The chronic restraint stress significantly decreased the hippocampal volume by 6.3% and impaired hippocampal neurogenesis as indicated by the reduced number of Ki67-, 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine- and doublecortin-positive cells in the dentate gyrus. The chronic restraint stress severely impaired hippocampus-dependent contextual fear memory without affecting hippocampus-independent fear memory. The expression level of brain-specific transcription factor neuronal PAS domain protein 4 (Npas4) mRNA in the hippocampus was down-regulated by the restraint stress or by acute corticosterone treatment. Npas4 immunoreactivity was detected in progenitors, immature and mature neurons of the dentate gyrus in control and stressed mice. Our findings suggest that the chronic restraint stress decreases hippocampal neurogenesis, leading to an impairment of hippocampus-dependent fear memory in mice. Corticosterone-induced down-regulation of Npas4 expression may play a role in stress-induced impairment of hippocampal function.Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2010; 114(6):1840-51. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.06893.x