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Krill phosphatidylserine improves learning and memory in Morris water maze in aged rats.

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Department of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea.


The ameliorating effect of phosphatidylserine (PS) isolated from krill (KR-PS) on the learning and memory deficits associated with normal aging in rats was investigated, as compared with soybean PS (SOY-PS). Rats were orally administered with KR-PS (20, 50 mg kg-1) and SOY-PS (50 mg kg-1) daily, for 7 days, 30 min before behavioral assessment using the Morris water maze (MWM). Changes in the cholinergic system were examined by measuring choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetylcholinesterase (AchE) immunoreactivity in the hippocampus. The daily administration of KR-PS produced a significant improvement in the escape latency for finding the platform in the MWM, as compared with SOY-PS. Consistent with the behavioral results, KR-PS treatments significantly alleviated age-associated losses of cholinergic immunoreactivity, and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor type 1 (mAChR-M1) and choline transporter (CHT) mRNA expression in the hippocampus. These findings demonstrate that KR-PS showed significant neuroprotective activity against the neuronal and cognitive impairments that occur with normal aging in rats; comparable results were obtained with SOY-PS. These data indicate that oral administration of PS derived from marine life could substitute for bovine cerebral cortex PS (BC-PS) as therapy for the improvement of diminished memory function in elderly people.

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