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Acta Physiol Hung. 2011 Jun;98(2):221-30. doi: 10.1556/APhysiol.98.2011.2.14.

Glabridin as a major active isoflavan from Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) reverses learning and memory deficits in diabetic rats.

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Department of Biology, Bu-Ali Sina University School of Basic Sciences, Hamedan, Iran.


Cognitive impairment occurs in diabetes mellitus. Glabridin as a major active flavonoids in Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) improves learning and memory in mice. In the present study, we investigated the effect of chronic treatment with glabridin (5, 25 and 50 mg/kg, p.o.) on cognitive function in control and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats.Animals were divided into untreated control, glabridin-treated control (5, 25 and 50 mg/kg), untreated diabetic and glabridin treated diabetic (5, 25 and 50 mg/kg) groups. Treatments were begun at the onset of hyperglycemia. Passive avoidance learning (PAL) and memory was assessed 30 days later. Diabetes caused cognition deficits in the PAL and memory paradigm. While oral glabridin administration (25 and 50 mg/kg) improved learning and memory in non-diabetic rats, it reversed learning and memory deficits of diabetic rats. Low dose glabridin (5 mg/kg) did not alter cognitive function in non-diabetic and diabetic groups. Glabridin treatment partially improved the reduced body weight and hyperglycemia of diabetic rats although the differences were not significant. The combination of antioxidant, neuroprotective and anticholinesterase properties of glabridin may all be responsible for the observed effects. These results show that glabridin prevented the deleterious effects of diabetes on learning and memory in rats. Further studies are warranted for clinical use of glabridin in the management of demented diabetic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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