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Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2013 Jan;3:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2012.08.003. Epub 2012 Sep 6.

Ethanolic extract from bulbs of Cipura paludosa reduced long-lasting learning and memory deficits induced by prenatal methylmercury exposure in rats.

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  • 1Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Brazil.


Previous studies from our group have indicated important biological properties of the ethanolic extract (EE) and isolated compounds from the bulbs of Cipura paludosa (Iridaceae), a native plant widely distributed in northern Brazil. In the present study, the effects of chronic treatment with the EE on the memory of adult rats exposed to methylmercury (MeHg) during early development were assessed. Pregnant rats were treated by gavage with a single dose of MeHg (8 mg/kg) on gestational day 15, the developmental stage critical for cortical neuron proliferation. Adult offspring were administered orally with the EE of C. paludosa (1, 10 or 100mg/kg) over 14 consecutive days. EE improved short-term social memory in a specific manner and facilitated the step-down inhibitory avoidance of short- and long-term memory. MeHg exposure induced pronounced long-lasting impairments in social recognition memory that were improved by EE. Moreover, EE significantly increased the step-down latencies specifically during the short-term session in prenatal MeHg-exposed rats. These results demonstrate that EE reduced the long-lasting short-term learning and memory deficits induced by MeHg exposure. These findings may encourage further studies evaluating the cognitive enhancing properties of C. paludosa and its components on neuropathological conditions associated with exposure to environmental contaminants.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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