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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(11):2299-306. Epub 2010 Nov 7.

Silymarin attenuated the amyloid β plaque burden and improved behavioral abnormalities in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model.

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  • 1Molecular Gerontology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive impairment and the formation of senile plaques. Silymarin, an extract of milk thistle, has long been used as a medicinal herb for liver diseases. Here we report marked suppression of amyloid β-protein (Aβ) fibril formation and neurotoxicity in PC12 cells after silymarin treatment in vitro. In vivo studies had indicated a significant reduction in brain Aβ deposition and improvement in behavioral abnormalities in amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice that had been preventively treated with a powdered diet containing 0.1% silymarin for 6 months. The silymarin-treated APP mice also showed less anxiety than the vehicle-treated APP mice. These behavioral changes were associated with a decline in Aβ oligomer production induced by silymarin intake. These results suggest that silymarin is a promising agent for the prevention of AD.

PMID:
21071836
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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