Nootkatone, a neuroprotective agent from Alpiniae Oxyphyllae Fructus, improves cognitive impairment in lipopolysaccharide-induced mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

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Neuroinflammatory responses play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our previous study demonstrated that petroleum ether extracts from Alpiniae Oxyphyllae Fructus(AOF) could attenuate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced learning and memory impairment in mice, which could be associated with its inhibitory effect on neuroinflammation. Therefore, our present study is to investigate the potential therapeutic neuroprotective effects of nootkatone (NKT) on an AD mouse model induced by intracerebroventricular injection of LPS. We found that NKT (10 mg/kg) group showed good performance in behavior experiments including Y-maze test and Morris water maze test. The results of histopathological examination and immunohistochemical analysis showed that LPS induced degeneration of neurons and activation of microglia particularly in hippocampus and NKT (10 mg/kg) reversed these changes. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and western blot analysis also demonstrated that the model group had increased expression of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, NLRP3 and NF-κB p65, especially in hippocampus relative to sham-operated group, and NKT (10 mg/kg) decreased the high expression of these inflammatory cytokines. Collectively, these data indicated that LPS-induced learning and memory impairments in mice could be improved by NKT, which was associated with attenuating neuroinflammatory responses. Our study indicated that NKT could act as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of neuroinflammation and AD.

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