Gynostemma pentaphyllum Ethanolic Extract Protects Against Memory Deficits in an MPTP-Lesioned Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease Treated with L-DOPA.
J Med Food. 2017 Jan ;20(1):11-18. Epub 2016 Dec 22. PMID: 28005447
Kyung Sook Kim
This study investigated the effects of ethanol extract from Gynostemma pentaphyllum (GP-EX) on memory deficits in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-lesioned mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD) (MPTP-lesioned mice). MPTP (30 mg/kg/day, 5 days)-lesioned mice showed deficits of habit learning memory and spatial memory, which were further aggravated by treatment with L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) (25 mg/kg, 21 days). However, treatment with GP-EX (50 mg/kg, 21 days) ameliorated memory deficits in MPTP-lesioned mice treated with L-DOPA (25 mg/kg): GP-EX prevented the decreases in retention latency time in the passive avoidance test and tyrosine hydroxylase-immunopositive cells and dopamine levels in the nigrostriatum. GP-EX also reduced increases in retention transfer latency time of the elevated plus-maze test and expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and improved decreases in phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) and cyclic AMP-response element binding protein (CREB) in the hippocampus in the same models. By contrast, L-DOPA treatment (10 mg/kg, 21 days) ameliorated memory deficits in MPTP-lesioned mice, which were further improved by GP-EX treatment. These results suggest that GP-EX ameliorates habit learning memory deficits by activating dopaminergic neurons and spatial memory deficits by modulating NMDA receptor-ERK1/2-CREB system in MPTP-lesioned mice treated with L-DOPA. GP-EX may serve as an adjuvant phytonutrient for memory deficits in PD.