Ethanolic Extract of the Seed of Zizyphus jujuba var. spinosa Ameliorates Cognitive Impairment Induced by Cholinergic Blockade in Mice
In the present study, we investigated the effect of ethanolic extract of the seed of Zizyphus jujuba var. spinosa (EEZS) on cholinergic blockade-induced memory impairment in mice. Male ICR mice were treated with EEZS. The behavioral tests were conducted using the passive avoidance, the Y-maze, and the Morris water maze tasks. EEZS (100 or 200 mg/kg, p.o.) signifi cantly ameliorated the scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment in our present behavioral tasks without changes of locomotor activity. The ameliorating effect of EEZS on scopolamine-induced memory impairment was signifi cantly reversed by a sub-effective dose of MK-801 (0.0125 mg/kg, s.c.). In addition, single administration of EEZS in normal naive mouse enhanced latency time in the passive avoidance task. Western blot analysis was employed to confi rm the mechanism of memory-ameliorating effect of EEZS. Administration of EEZS (200 mg/kg) increased the level of memory-related signaling molecules, including phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase or cAMP response element-binding protein in the hippocampal region. Also, the time-dependent expression level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor by the administration of EEZS was markedly increased from 3 to 9 h. These results suggest that EEZS has memory-ameliorating effect on scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment, which is mediated by the enhancement of the cholinergic neurotransmitter system, in part, via NMDA receptor signaling, and that EEZS would be useful agent against cognitive dysfunction such as Alzheimer’s disease.