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Cell Biochem Biophys. 2013 Sep;67(1):181-4. doi: 10.1007/s12013-013-9531-x.

Effect of arborvitae seed on cognitive function and α7nAChR protein expression of hippocampus in model rats with Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, The First Hospital of Jingzhou, Clinical Medical College, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, 434000, China. cheng066@tom.com


The aim was to investigate the effect of the arborvitae seed on cognitive function and α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) protein expression of the hippocampus in model rats with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thirty-six adult Wistar rats were randomly divided into the control, test, and drug groups. A dose of Aβ1-40 was injected into the rats' hippocampus in the test and drug groups and the control rats were injected with the same amount of normal saline. After the model was successful, the rats in the control and test groups were gavaged with sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (500 mg/kg) and the rats in the drug group were gavaged with arborvitae seed powder (500 mg/kg) for 15 days. The Morris water maze test was used for cognitive function. The effect of arborvitae seed on α7nAChR protein immunoreactivity on the hippocampus neurons was studied by the immunohistochemistry method. Behavioral tests showed that the mean escape latencies and search time of the test group were obviously longer than the control and drug groups. The percentage of the search distance of the test group was shorter than that of the control and drug groups. The immunohistochemistry results are as follows: α7nAChR-positive cells and optical density in the hippocampus of the rats in the test group are less than that of the rats in the control and drug groups (all P < 0.01). Arborvitae seed can treat AD by increased expression of α7nAChR.

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