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J Neurosci Res. 2006 Aug 1;84(2):427-33.

Uncaria rhynchophylla, a Chinese medicinal herb, has potent antiaggregation effects on Alzheimer's beta-amyloid proteins.

Author information

1
Department of Geriatric and Complementary Medicine, Center for Asian Traditional Medicine Research, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.

Abstract

Because the deposition of beta-amyloid protein (Abeta) is a consistent pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains, inhibition of Abeta generation, prevention of Abeta fibril formation, or destabilization of preformed Abeta fibrils would be attractive therapeutic strategies for the treatment of AD. We examined the effects of several medicinal herbs used in traditional Chinese medical formulae on the formation and destabilization of Abeta fibrils by using the thioflavin T binding assay, atomic force microscopic imaging, and electrophoresis. Our study demonstrates that several of these herbs have potent inhibitory effects on fibril formation of both Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42) in concentration-dependent manners; in particular, Uncaria rhynchophylla inhibited Abeta aggregation most intensively. Significant destabilization of preformed Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42) fibrils was also induced by Uncaria rhynchophylla as well as some other herb extracts. Three-dimensional HPLC analysis indicated that the water extract of this herb contains several different chemical compounds, including oxindole and indol alkaloids, which have been regarded as neuroprotective. Our results suggest that Uncaria rhynchophylla has remarkably inhibitory effects on the regulation of Abeta fibrils, and we conclude that this medicinal herb could have the potency to be a novel therapeutic agent to prevent and/or cure AD.

PMID:
16676329
DOI:
10.1002/jnr.20891
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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