[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
Aging is a progressive process related to the accumulation of oxidative damage and neuroinflammation. We tried to find the anti-amnesic effect of the Scutellaria baicalens Georgia (SBG) ethanol extract and its major ingredients. The antioxidative effect of SBG on the mice model with memory impairment induced by chronic injection of D-galactose and sodium nitrate was studied. The Y-maze test was used to evaluate the learning and memory function of mice. The activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase and the content of malondialdehyde in brain tissue were used for the antioxidation activities. Neuropathological alteration and expression of bcl-2 protein were investigated in the hippocampus by immunohistochemical staining. ROS, neuroinflammation and apoptosis related molecules expression such as Cox-2, iNOS, procaspase-3, cleaved caspase-3, 8 and 9, bcl-2 and bax protein and the products of iNOS and Cox-2, NO, PGE2, were studied using LPS-activated Raw 264.7 cells and microglia BV2 cells. The cognition of mice was significantly improved by the treatment of baicalein and 50 and 100 mg/kg of SBG in Y-maze test. Both SBG groups showed strong antioxidation, antiinflammation effects with significantly decreased iNOS and Cox-2 expression, NO and PGE2 production, increased bcl-2 and decreased bax and cleaved caspase-3 protein expression in LPS induced Raw 264.7 and BV2 cells. We also found that apoptotic pathway was caused by the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway with the decreased cleaved caspase-9 and unchanged cleaved caspase-8 expression. These findings suggest that SBG, especially high dose, 100 mg/kg, improved the memory impairments significantly and showed antioxidation, antiinflammation and intrinsic caspase-mediated apoptosis effects.