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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 478190, 9 pages
Research Article

Herbal Extracts Combination (WNK) Prevents Decline in Spatial Learning and Memory in APP/PS1 Mice through Improvement of Hippocampal Aβ Plaque Formation, Histopathology, and Ultrastructure

Research Center, Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100091, China

Received 6 March 2012; Revised 10 May 2012; Accepted 10 May 2012

Academic Editor: Ilkay Erdogan Orhan

Copyright © 2012 Wei-hong Cong 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.


To investigate the cognitive enhancement effect of WNK, an extracts combination of P. ginseng,  G. biloba, and C. sativus L. and possible mechanisms, 5-month-old APP/PS1 transgenic mice were used in this study. After 3 months of administration, all mice received Morris water maze (MWM) training and a probe test. Mouse brain sections were detected by immunohistochemistry, HE staining, and transmission electron microscopy. MWM results showed significant difference between transgenic mice and nontransgenic littermates ( , ). WNK-treated mice exhibited enhanced maze performance over the training progression, especially better spatial memory retention in probe test compared to transgenic mice ( , ) and better spatial learning and memory at the fourth day of MWM test compared to EGB761- (G. biloba extract-) treated ones ( ). Hippocampal Aβ plaque burden significantly differed between APP/PS1 and littermate mice ( ), while decreased Aβ plaque appeared in WNK- or EGB761-treated transgenic brains ( ). Neurodegenerative changes were evident from light microscopic and ultrastructural observations in transgenic brains, which were improved by WNK or EGB761 treatment. These data indicate WNK can reduce the decline in spatial cognition, which might be due to its effects on reducing Aβ plaque formation and ameliorating histopathology and ultrastructure in hippocampus of APP/PS1 mouse brain.