Mitigation of chronic unpredictable stress–induced cognitive deficits in mice by Lycium barbarum L (Solanaceae) polysaccharides
Purpose: To investigate the neuroprotective effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide (LBP) against concomitant cognitive dysfunction and changes in hippocampal CREB-BDNF signaling pathway in chronically unpredictable stressed mice.
Methods: The mice were subjected to different unpredictable stressors for a period of 4 weeks. Behavioral tests, including open field (OFT) and Morris water maze (MWMT) tests were used to evaluate pharmacological effects. Serum corticosterone levels, protein expression level of BDNF and pCREB/CREB in hippocampus were assessed by ELISA, Western blot and immunohistochemistry methods, respectively. Morphological changes in pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus were studied by Nissl staining.
Results: LBP improved mice performance in MWMT, indicating that it reversed chronic unpredictable stress (CUS)-induced cognitive deficits. LBP treatment reduced serum corticosterone levels and prevented neuron loss in the hippocampus. It maintained expression levels of BDNF and phosphorylation of CREB in hippocampus during CUS procedure.
Conclusion: Lycium barbarum polysaccharide protects CREB-BDNF signaling pathway in hippocampus and relieves CUS-induced cognitive deficits. These results suggest that Lycium barbarum polysaccharides is potentially an alternative neuro-protective agent against stress-induced psychopathological dysfunction.
Keywords: Lycium barbarum, Polysaccharide, Chronic unpredictable stress, Cognitive deficits, Brainderived neurotrophic factor, Calcium/cyclic-AMP responsive binding protein
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