Cognitive improvements and reduction in amyloid plaque deposition by saikosaponin D treatment in a murine model of Alzheimer's disease
- Li Zhou
- Jin‑Yuan Huang
- Di Zhang
- Ya‑Liang Zhao
Affiliations: Health Management Center, Wuhan Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wuhan, Hubei 430014, P.R. China
- Published online on: May 17, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8760
Copyright: © Zhou
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Commons Attribution License.
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Alzheimer's disease (AD), is a severe neurodegenerative disease that currently lacks an optimally effective therapeutic agent for its management. Saikosaponin D (SSD) is a component extracted from the herb Bupleurum falcatum that is commonly used in Chinese medicine. Although SSD has been reported to exert neuroprotective effects, its pharmacological role in AD has not been previously elucidated. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate whether SSD treatment improves the cognitive function and pathological features of 3xTg mice, a triple‑transgenic mouse model of AD that displays classical pathological features of AD. The effects of SSD treatment on the behavioral, histological and physiological features of the animal were quantified. Results from the behavioral experiments on the SSD‑treated 3xTg mice identified a significant reduction in memory impairment. In addition, histological staining results indicated that SSD application could preserve the morphology of neurons, reduce apoptosis and significantly inhibit amyloid‑β deposition in the hippocampus of 3xTg mice. SSD treatment also decelerated the activation of microglia and astrocytes in the hippocampus of 3xTg mice, possibly via the inhibition of the NF‑κB signal transduction pathway. Therefore, the present study demonstrated the protective effects of SSD against progressive neurodegeneration and identified the potential underlying pharmacological mechanism. It was speculated that SSD may serve as a possible therapeutic agent in AD treatment in the future.