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Neuroprotective effects of Dioscorea opposita on scopolamine-induced memory impairment in in vivo behavioral tests and in vitro assays

Yang, Min Hye, Yoon, Kee Dong, Chin, Young-Won, Park, Ju Hyun, Kim, Seung Hyun, Kim, Young Choong, Kim, Jinwoong
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2009 v.121 no.1 pp. 130-134
Oriental traditional medicine, neuroprotective effect, Dioscorea oppositifolia, scopolamine, memory, in vivo studies, in vitro studies, herbal medicines, cognition, plant extracts, mice, glutamates, hydrogen peroxide, neurons, animal disease models, avoidance conditioning, animal behavior, China, Japan, South Korea
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Plants belong to the genus Dioscorea have long been used as edible tuber crops in many tropical and subtropical areas and as a traditional herbal medicine in oriental countries including China, Japan and Korea. Aim of the study: In this study, in vivo and in vitro tests were carried out to evaluate the cognitive enhancing effects of CHCl₃-soluble extract from Dioscorea opposita against scopolamine-induced amnesic mice and glutamate- and H₂O₂-treated cortical neurons of rats. Materials, methods and results: Acute treatment (200mg/kg body weight, p.o.) and 10 days' daily administration (50mg/kg body weight, p.o.) of CHCl₃-soluble extract showed significant spatial learning and memory improvement on mice. Furthermore, the neuroprotective effects on glutamate- and H₂O₂-induced neurotoxicity in primary cultured cortical neurons of rats were assessed. Pretreatment with the extract was found to impart significant protection against neurotoxicity. Conclusions: These in vivo and in vitro results suggest that the Dioscorea opposita has neuroprotective effects on memory impairment related neurodegenerative diseases.