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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 839720, 12 pages
Research Article

Cognitive-Enhancing Effects of Polygalasaponin Hydrolysate in Aβ25–35-Induced Amnesic Mice

1Research Center of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China
2Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700, China
3Angiogenesis & Chinese Medicine Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1PD, UK

Received 12 November 2010; Accepted 10 January 2011

Copyright © 2011 Shu ping Xu 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.


Polygalasaponins are the major active constituents of Polygala tenuifolia exhibiting antiamnesic activity, but their applications are limited due to their toxicities. Evidence showed that the toxicities can be attenuated by hydrolysis. Herein, effects of a hydrolysate of polygalasaponins (HPS) on cognitive impairment induced by Aβ25−35 were assessed by Morris water maze and step-through passive avoidance tests. The impaired spatial reference memory was improved by HPS (50 and 100 mg/kg). In the acquisition trial of step-through test, HPS (50 and 100 mg/kg) increased the latency into the dark chamber and decreased the error frequency significantly ( 𝑃 < . 0 5 ). However, no significant change was observed during the retention trial. Additionally, HPS increased the corresponding SOD activities (62.34%, 22.09%) and decreased MDA levels (28.21%, 32.35%) in both cortex and hippocampus as compared to model animals. These results show that HPS may be a useful treatment against amnesia probably via its antioxidant properties.