The ameliorating effect of the extract of the flower of Prunella vulgaris var. lilacina on drug-induced memory impairments in mice
Prunella vulgaris var. lilacina is widely distributed in Korea, Japan, China, and Europe, and its flowers are used to treat inflammation in traditional Chinese medicine. In the present study, we studied the effects of the ethanolic extract of the flower of P. vulgaris var. lilacina (EEPV) on drug-induced learning and memory impairment using the passive avoidance, the Y-maze, and the Morris water maze tasks in mice. EEPV (25 or 50 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly ameliorated scopolamine-induced cognitive impairments in the passive avoidance and Y-maze tasks (P<0.05). In the Morris water maze task, EEPV (25 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly shortened escape latencies in training-trials. Furthermore, swimming times within the target zone during the probe-trial were significantly increased as compared with scopolamine-treated mice (P<0.05). In addition, the reduced latency induced by MK-801 treatment in the passive avoidance task was ameliorated by EEPV (25 mg/kg, p.o.) (P<0.05). Additionally, the ameliorating effect of EEPV on scopolamine-induced memory dysfunction was antagonized by a sub-effective dose of MK-801. These results suggest that EEPV would be useful for treating cognitive impairments induced by cholinergic dysfunction, and that it exerts its effects via NMDA receptor signaling.
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