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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9729818, 17 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/9729818
Research Article

Influence of the Melissa officinalis Leaf Extract on Long-Term Memory in Scopolamine Animal Model with Assessment of Mechanism of Action

1Department of Pharmaceutical Botany and Plant Biotechnology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Sw. Marii Magdaleny 14, 61-861 Poznan, Poland
2Department of Pharmacology and Phytochemistry, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Wojska Polskiego 71b, 60-630 Poznan, Poland
3Department of Pharmacology, University of Medical Sciences, Rokietnicka 5a, 60-806 Poznan, Poland
4Department of Pathogen Genetics and Plant Resistance, Metabolomics Team, Institute of Plant Genetics of the Polish Academy of Science, Strzeszynska 34, 60-479 Poznan, Poland
5Laboratory of Experimental Pharmacogenetics, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy, University of Medical Sciences, 14 Sw. Marii Magdaleny, 61-861 Poznan, Poland
6Department of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Wojska Polskiego 71b, 60-630 Poznan, Poland
7Department of Toxicology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Dojazd 30, 60-631 Poznan, Poland
8Division of Perinatology and Women’s Diseases, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Polna 33, 60-535 Poznan, Poland
9Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Polna 33, 60-535 Poznan, Poland
10Department of General Pharmacology and Pharmacoeconomics, Pomeranian Medical University, Zolnierska 48, 70-204 Szczecin, Poland

Received 30 September 2015; Accepted 3 December 2015

Academic Editor: Helmut Hugel

Copyright © 2016 Marcin Ozarowski 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

Melissa officinalis (MO, English: lemon balm, Lamiaceae), one of the oldest and still most popular aromatic medicinal plants, is used in phytomedicine for the prevention and treatment of nervous disturbances. The aim of our study was to assess the effect of subchronic (28-fold) administration of a 50% ethanol extract of MO leaves (200 mg/kg, p.o.) compared with rosmarinic acid (RA, 10 mg/kg, p.o.) and huperzine A (HU, 0.5 mg/kg, p.o.) on behavioral and cognitive responses in scopolamine-induced rats. The results were linked with acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), and beta-secretase (BACE-1) mRNA levels and AChE and BuChE activities in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of rats. In our study, MO and HU, but not RA, showed an improvement in long-term memory. The results were in line with mRNA levels, since MO produced a decrease of AChE mRNA level by 52% in the cortex and caused a strong significant inhibition of BACE1 mRNA transcription (64% in the frontal cortex; 50% in the hippocampus). However, the extract produced only an insignificant inhibition of AChE activity in the frontal cortex. The mechanisms of MO action are probably more complicated, since its role as a modulator of beta-secretase activity should be taken into consideration.