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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 319436, 9 pages
Research Article

Cognitive-Enhancing Effect of Steamed and Fermented Codonopsis lanceolata: A Behavioral and Biochemical Study

1Department of Medical Biomaterials Engineering, College of Biomedical Science, Kangwon National University, Hyoja-2 Dong, Chuncheon 200-701, Republic of Korea
2Laboratory of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Pharmacy, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, Republic of Korea
3Department of Teaics, Seowon University, Cheongju 361-742, Republic of Korea
4Functional Food & Nutrition Division, Department of Agrofood Resources, Rural Development Administration, Suwon 441-853, Republic of Korea
5Newtree Co., Ltd., 11F Tech Center, SKnTechno Park 190-1, Sungnam 462-120, Republic of Korea
6Research Institute of Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, Republic of Korea

Received 1 May 2014; Revised 26 May 2014; Accepted 27 May 2014; Published 16 June 2014

Academic Editor: Mohammad Amjad Kamal

Copyright © 2014 Jin Bae Weon 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.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by memory impairment. Codonopsis lanceolata (C. lanceolata) has been employed clinically for lung inflammatory diseases such as asthma, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of fermented C. lanceolata (300, 500, and 800 mg/kg) on learning and memory impairment induced by scopolamine by using the Morris water maze and passive avoidance tests. To elucidate possible mechanism of cognitive-enhancing activity, we measured acetylcholinesterase (AchE) activity, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) expression in the brain of mice. Administration of fermented C. lanceolata (800 mg/kg) led to reduced scopolamine-induced memory impairment in the Morris water maze and passive avoidance tests. Accordingly, the administration of fermented C. lanceolata inhibited AchE activity. Interestingly, the level of CREB phosphorylation and BDNF expression in hippocampal tissue of scopolamine-treated mice was significantly increased by the administration of fermented C. lanceolata. These results indicate that fermented C. lanceolata can ameliorate scopolamine-induced memory deficits in mouse and may be an alternative agent for the treatment of AD.