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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (2): 209-215.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110215

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Chinese herbal medicine Yinsiwei compound on spatial learning and memory ability and the ultrastructure of hippocampal neurons in a rat model of sporadic Alzheimer disease

 Yong-chang Diwu1,2(), Jin-zhou Tian1Shi Jing1   

  1. 1. First Clinical Medical College,Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
    2. Clinical Medical College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang 712046, Shaanxi Province, China
  • Received:2010-10-17 Accepted:2010-11-08 Online:2011-02-20 Published:2011-02-15
  • Contact: Diwu Yong-chang

Objective: To study the effects of Chinese herbal medicine Yinsiwei compound (YSW) on spatial learning and memory ability in rats with sporadic Alzheimer disease (SAD) and the ultrastructural basis of the hippocampal neurons.
Methods: A rat model of SAD was established by intracerebroventricular injection of streptozotocin. The rats were divided into six groups: sham-operation group, model group, donepezil control group, and YSW low, medium and high dose groups. Drug interventions were started on the 21st day after modeling and each treatment group was given the corresponding drugs by gavage for two months. Meanwhile, the model group and the sham-operation group were given the same volume of distilled water by gavage once a day for two months. The Morris water maze was adopted to test spatial learning and memory ability of the rats. The place navigation test and the spatial probe test were conducted. The escape latency, total swimming distance and swimming time in the target quadrant of the rats were recorded. Also, the hippocampus tissues of rats were taken out and the ultrastructure of hippocampus neurons were observed by an electron microscope.
Results: In the place navigation test, compared with the model group, the mean escape latency and the total swimming distance of the donepezil group and the YSW low, medium and high dose groups were significantly shortened (P<0.05 or P<0.01). In the space probe test, the swimming time of each treatment group in the target quadrant was significantly longer than that of the model group (P<0.05 or P<0.01). For most of the test period, the donepezil group had no significant change compared with the YSW low, medium and high dose groups, respectively. The ultrastructure of the hippocampus neurons under the electron microscope also confirmed the efficacy of the drug treatment.
Conclusion: Chinese herbal medicine YSW compound can improve spatial learning and memory impairment of rats with SAD. The ultrastructural basis may be that it can protect the microtubule structures of hippocampal neurons and prevent nerve axons from being damaged.

Key words: Alzheimer disease, drugs,Chinese herbal, maze learning, learning disorders, memory disorders, hippocampus, animal experimentation, rats


Figure 1

Comparison of average escape latency in the place navigation test of rats in each group YL: Yinsiwei compound of low dose; YM: Yinsiwei compound of medium dose; YH: Yinsiwei compound of high dose."


Figure 2

Comparison of swimming distance in the place navigation test of rats in each group YL: Yinsiwei compound of low dose; YM: Yinsiwei compound of medium dose; YH: Yinsiwei compound of high dose."


Figure 3

Microtubule structure of the hippocampal neuronal axons of rats in each group A: Sham-operation group (Electron microscopy, ×60 000); B: Model group (Electron microscopy, ×60 000); C: Donepezil group (Electron microscopy, ×50 000); D: Yinsiwei high dose group (Electron microscopy, ×50 000); E: Yinsiwei medium dose group (Electron microscopy, ×60 000); F: Yinsiwei low dose group (Electron microscopy, ×50 000)."

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