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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 450838, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/450838
Research Article

Effects of Fructus mume Extract on MAPK and NF-κB Signaling and the Resultant Improvement in the Cognitive Deficits Induced by Chronic Cerebral Hypoperfusion

1Herbal Medicine Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea
2Department of Biological Sciences, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea
3Department of Neurology, Konkuk University Hospital, Center for Geriatric Neuroscience Research, Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-729, Republic of Korea
4College of Pharmacy, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Republic of Korea

Received 26 September 2012; Revised 26 November 2012; Accepted 3 December 2012

Academic Editor: Mohd Roslan Sulaiman

Copyright © 2012 Won Kyung Jeon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Fructus mume (F. mume) has been used as a medicinal food in Japan and has been reported to have anti-inflammatory effects in inflammatory bowel disease and macrophage-mediated inflammation. We investigated the effects of F. mume extracts on cognitive dysfunction in rats with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion and the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects. Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion was induced in male Wister rats by bilateral common artery occlusion (BCCAo). Daily administration of F. mume extracts was started on day 20 after post-BCCAo and continued for 40 days. The status of hippocampus-dependent memory was evaluated in control rats, rats with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion, and rats with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion that were administered F. mume. The levels of microglial activation were measured in the hippocampus and the fimbria of hippocampus, and expression levels of hippocampal mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) were examined. Rats that received chronic cerebral hypoperfusion showed spatial memory impairments relative to the control rats; these impairments were reduced by daily administration of F. mume. Administration of F. mume mitigated the microglial activation and alterations of hippocampal MAPK and NF-κB signaling in the rats with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. These results indicate that F. mume may possess therapeutic potential for the prevention of vascular dementia via inhibition of inflammatory processes.