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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 253958, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nen063
Original Article

Aqueous Extract of Black Maca (Lepidium meyenii) on Memory Impairment Induced by Ovariectomy in Mice

1Research Center for Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China
2Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy and Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, PO Box 1843, Lima, Peru

Received 30 May 2008; Accepted 11 September 2008

Copyright © 2011 Julio Rubio 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

The present study aims to test two different doses of aqueous extract of black maca on learning and memory in ovariectomized (OVX) mice and their relation with malonalehyde (MDA), acetylcholinesterase (Ache) and monoamine oxidase (MAO) brain levels. Female mice were divided into five groups: (i) naive (control), (ii) sham, (iii) OVX mice and OVX mice treated with (iv) 0.50 g kg−1 and (v) 2.00 g kg−1 black maca. Mice were orally treated with distilled water or black maca during 35 days starting 7 days after surgery. Memory and learning were assessed using the water Morris maze (from day 23–27) and the step-down avoidance test (days 34 and 35). At the end of each treatment, mice were sacrificed by decapitation and brains were dissected out for MDA, Ache and MAO determinations. Black maca (0.5 and 2.0 g/kg) increased step-down latency when compared to OVX control mice. Black maca decreased MDA and Ache levels in OVX mice; whereas, no differences were observed in MAO levels. Finally, black maca improved experimental memory impairment induced by ovariectomy, due in part, by its antioxidant and Ache inhibitory activities.