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Total alkaloids from the seed embryo of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. improve cognitive impairment in APP/PS1 mice and protect Aβ-damaged PC12 cells

Xue-Lian Meng, Jing-Su Xue, Shu-Jie Su, Jiang-Min Gou, Jing Lu, ,
Published: 12 November 2022

Abstract: The seed embryo of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. is a famous traditional Chinese medicine and food which is considered conducive to the prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, the effect and mechanism of TASENN (total alkaloids from the seed embryo of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) on AD mice and amyloid-β (Aβ) injured PC12 cells were evaluated. HPLC-UV analysis showed that the extracted TASENN (purity = 95.6%) mainly contains Liensinine, Isoliensinine, and Neferine (purity was 23.01, 28.02, and 44.57%, respectively). In vivo, oral treatment with TASENN (50 mg/kg/day for 28 days) improved the learning and memory functions of APP/PS1 transgenic mice, ameliorated the histopathological changes of cortical and hippocampal neurons, and inhibited neuronal apoptosis. We found that TASENN reduced the phosphorylation of Tau and the formation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in APP/PS1 mouse brain. Moreover, TASENN down-regulated the expression of APP and BACE1, ameliorated Aβ deposition, and inhibited microglial proliferation and aggregation. The elevated protein expression of CaM and p-CaMKII in APP/PS1 mouse brain was also reduced by TASENN. In vitro, TASENN inhibited the apoptosis of PC12 cells injured by Aβ25–35 and increased the cell viability. Aβ25–35-induced increase of cytosolic free Ca2+ level and high expression of CaM, p-CaMKII, and p-Tau were decreased by TASENN. Our findings indicate that TASENN has a potential therapeutic effect on AD mice and a protective effect on PC12 cells. The anti-AD activity of TASENN may be closely related to its negative regulation of the CaM pathway. GRAPHICAL ABSTRACT
Keywords: Alkaloids / Seed embryo of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn / APP/PS1 mice / PC12 cells / Alzheimer's disease / ‌Amyloid-β / Tau phosphorylation / ‌Microglia / ‌CaM

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