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Life Sci. 1996;58(6):PL111-8.

Effects of dietary phosphatidylcholine on memory in memory deficient mice with low brain acetylcholine concentration.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.


Data concerning the effect of phosphatidylcholine (PCh) administration on the improvement of memory in senile dementia of Alzheimer type are inconsistent, probably due to the different conditions under which studies were conducted. Animal studies provide a good model, but data on this is limited. We studied the effect of PCh on memory in memory deficient mice (Dull mice) with low brain acetylcholine (ACh) concentration and normal mice. Mice were fed 24% casein diet (control) or this diet supplemented with 2 or 8% egg yolk PCh from gestation (Experiment 1) and after weaning (Experiment 2). Memory acquisition and retention were studied by step-down type passive avoidance performance at 8 and 10 weeks old, respectively. Control group of Dull mice had poorer memories than that of the normal mice in Experiments 1 and 2. On the 2% PCh diet, Dull mice improved memory acquisition and retention in Experiment 1 and retention in Experiment 2. On the 8% PCh diet in Dull mice there was improvement of memory and retention in Experiment 1, but no effect was observed in Experiment 2 (P > 0.05). In the normal mice, the 2% PCh diet did not affect memory acquisition and retention, however on the 8% PCh diet, there was no or adverse effect. These results suggest that dietary supplementation of egg yolk PCh improves memory of Dull mice, particularly when given from gestation and that the 2% PCh diet elicits better response than the 8% PCh diet.

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