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Quercetin improved spatial memory dysfunctions in rat model of intracerebroventricular streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer’s disease

Manouchehr Ashrafpour, Sahar Parsaei, Hamid Sepehri.

Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative syndromes characterized by a progressive decline in the spatial memory. There are convincing evidences on the neuroprotective effects of flavonoids against AD.

Aims and Objective: To determine the effect of quercetin on the acquisition and retention of spatial memory in a rat model of AD.

Materials and Methods: Twenty-four male Wistar rats were divided into four groups (six in each): group I: control rats receiving intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of normal saline, group II: rats induced AD by ICV injection of streptozotocin (STZ; 3 mg/kg bilaterally; twice, on days 1 and 3), and groups III and IV: ICV-STZ AD rats treated intraperitoneally (IP) with 40 and 80 mg/kg/day quercetin, respectively, over a period of 12 days. Then, the rats were trained with four trials per day for five consecutive days in the Morris water maze (MWM). On the sixth day, the memory retention was evaluated.

Result: The ICV-STZ AD groups showed a significant impairment in the acquisition and retrieval of spatial memory when compared with the control group (P < 0.001). In the AD groups, the escape latency during the training trials showed a significant decrease (P < 0.001). Meanwhile, during the MWM task, these rats spent more time in the target quadrant in probe trials when compared with the controls.

Conclusion: Quercetin acted as a spatial memory enhancer in ICV-STZ–induced AD rats. Hence, this flavonoid can be considered potentially as a promising agent for developing prophylactic and therapeutic neuroprotection. This neuroprotective effect of quercetin may be attributed to its antioxidant and scavenging properties.

Key words: Quercetin; Spatial Memory; Streptozotocin; Alzheimer’s Disease

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