Spinosin, aC-glycoside flavonoid, enhances cognitive performance and adult hippocampal neurogenesis in mice

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Abstract

Adult neurogenesis has received much attention due to its potential role in neurological or psychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, we examined whether spinosin, a C-glycoside flavonoid from the seeds of Zizyphus jujuba var. spinosa, affects cognitive performance and adult hippocampal neurogenesis in normal naïve mice. The subchronic administration of spinosin (5 mg/kg) for 14 days significantly increased the latency time in the passive avoidance task. Doublecortin and 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine immunostaining revealed that the subchronic administration of spinosin (5 mg/kg) significantly increased the proliferation and survival of neuronal cells and the number of immature neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus region. In addition, we observed an increase in the percentage of BrdU-incorporated cells co-localized with NeuN, a mature neuronal marker, which indicated that spinosin stimulates the differentiation of newly generated cells into mature neurons. Also, the subchronic treatment with spinosin (5 mg/kg) increased the expression levels of phosphorylated extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK), phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (mBDNF) in the hippocampus. These findings demonstrate that spinosin has the potential for therapeutic use in treating the cognitive dysfunction observed in neurological or psychiatric disorders by up-regulating adult hippocampal neurogenesis or activating of the ERK-CREB-BDNF signaling pathway.

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