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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:9729818. doi: 10.1155/2016/9729818. Epub 2016 Apr 28.

Influence of the Melissa officinalis Leaf Extract on Long-Term Memory in Scopolamine Animal Model with Assessment of Mechanism of Action.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmaceutical Botany and Plant Biotechnology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Sw. Marii Magdaleny 14, 61-861 Poznan, Poland; Department of Pharmacology and Phytochemistry, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Wojska Polskiego 71b, 60-630 Poznan, Poland.
2
Department of Pharmacology and Phytochemistry, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Wojska Polskiego 71b, 60-630 Poznan, Poland; Department of Pharmacology, University of Medical Sciences, Rokietnicka 5a, 60-806 Poznan, Poland.
3
Department of Pathogen Genetics and Plant Resistance, Metabolomics Team, Institute of Plant Genetics of the Polish Academy of Science, Strzeszynska 34, 60-479 Poznan, Poland.
4
Department of Pharmacology and Phytochemistry, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Wojska Polskiego 71b, 60-630 Poznan, Poland.
5
Laboratory of Experimental Pharmacogenetics, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy, University of Medical Sciences, 14 Sw. Marii Magdaleny, 61-861 Poznan, Poland; Department of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Wojska Polskiego 71b, 60-630 Poznan, Poland.
6
Laboratory of Experimental Pharmacogenetics, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy, University of Medical Sciences, 14 Sw. Marii Magdaleny, 61-861 Poznan, Poland.
7
Department of Pharmacology, University of Medical Sciences, Rokietnicka 5a, 60-806 Poznan, Poland.
8
Department of Toxicology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Dojazd 30, 60-631 Poznan, Poland.
9
Department of Pharmacology and Phytochemistry, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Wojska Polskiego 71b, 60-630 Poznan, Poland; Division of Perinatology and Women's Diseases, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Polna 33, 60-535 Poznan, Poland; Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Polna 33, 60-535 Poznan, Poland.
10
Department of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Wojska Polskiego 71b, 60-630 Poznan, Poland; Department of General Pharmacology and Pharmacoeconomics, Pomeranian Medical University, Zolnierska 48, 70-204 Szczecin, Poland.

Abstract

Melissa officinalis (MO, English: lemon balm, Lamiaceae), one of the oldest and still most popular aromatic medicinal plants, is used in phytomedicine for the prevention and treatment of nervous disturbances. The aim of our study was to assess the effect of subchronic (28-fold) administration of a 50% ethanol extract of MO leaves (200 mg/kg, p.o.) compared with rosmarinic acid (RA, 10 mg/kg, p.o.) and huperzine A (HU, 0.5 mg/kg, p.o.) on behavioral and cognitive responses in scopolamine-induced rats. The results were linked with acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), and beta-secretase (BACE-1) mRNA levels and AChE and BuChE activities in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of rats. In our study, MO and HU, but not RA, showed an improvement in long-term memory. The results were in line with mRNA levels, since MO produced a decrease of AChE mRNA level by 52% in the cortex and caused a strong significant inhibition of BACE1 mRNA transcription (64% in the frontal cortex; 50% in the hippocampus). However, the extract produced only an insignificant inhibition of AChE activity in the frontal cortex. The mechanisms of MO action are probably more complicated, since its role as a modulator of beta-secretase activity should be taken into consideration.

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