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Biol Pharm Bull. 2013;36(5):764-71. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Effects of magnolol on impairment of learning and memory abilities induced by scopolamine in mice.

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Clinical medicine department, Sun Yet-Sen University, Guangzhou 510089, China.


Alzheimer's disease (AD), one of the most common forms of dementia, is primarily ascribed to the cholinergic deficits and neuronal dysfunction. Magnolol (Mag), a bioactivator extracted from Magnolia officinalis, has protective effects on cholinergic neurons, but the specific mechanism remains unknown. To further evaluate the therapeutic effects of Mag on the learning and memory impairment in a scopolamine (Scop)-induced mouse model, the passive avoidance and the Morris water maze tests, the measurement of the ratio of brain/hippocampus to body weight, activities of acetyl cholinesterase (AChE), superoxide dismutase (SOD), total nitric oxide synthase (total NOS) and the content of methane dicarboxylic aldehyde (MDA) in hippocampus homogenate as well as the immunefluorescence staining of the AChE positive nerve fibers were performed. Therapeutically treated with Mag, the impaired abilities of learning and memory of the Scop-induced mice were almost restored to the native levels. The restored AChE, total NOS and SOD activities and the MDA level were observed, with a relatively normal density of AChE positive nerve fibers in hippocampus CA3 molecular layer. The improving efficacy of Mag on learning and memory impairment induced by Scop is dose-dependent, indicating that Mag has potential neuroprotective effects against neuronal impairment and memory dysfunction induced by Scop in mice. The underlying mechanisms may be associated with the anti-oxidative effects of Mag and its protective effects on hippocampus cholinergic neurons.

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