Lab Anim Res.  2015 Jun;31(2):69-77. 10.5625/lar.2015.31.2.69.

Prolonged oral administration of Gastrodia elata extract improves spatial learning and memory of scopolamine-treated rats

  • 1Huvet Co. Ltd., Iksan, Korea.
  • 2Animal Disease Research Unit, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Korea.
  • 3Center for Animal Resources Development, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Korea.
  • 4Namyoung Pharm, Muju, Korea.
  • 5Research Center for Industrial Development of Biofood Materials, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 6Department of Food Science and Technology, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea.


Gastrodia elata (GE) is traditionally used for treatment of various disorders including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. To investigate the neuroprotective effect of GE, amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta)-treated PC12 cells were cultured with GE aqueous extract. In vitro assay demonstrated that 50 microM of pre-aggregated Abeta was lethal to about a half portion of PC12 cells and that Abeta aggregate-induced cell death was significantly decreased with GE treatment at < or =10 mg/mL in a dose-dependent manner. To further examine in vivo cognitive-improving effects, an artificial amnesic animal model, scopolamine-injected Sprague-Dawley rats, were orally administered the extract for 6 weeks followed by behavioral tests (the passive avoidance test and Morris water maze test). The results showed that an acute treatment with scopolamine (1 mg/kg of body weight) effectively induced memory impairment in normal rats and that the learning and memory capability of scopolamine-treated rats improved after prolonged administration of GE extract (50, 250 and 500 mg/kg of body weight for 6 weeks). These findings suggest that a GE regimen may potentially ameliorate learning and memory deficits and/or cognitive impairments caused by neuronal cell death.


Gastrodia elata; scopolamine-induced memory impairment; amyloid-beta peptide; neuroprotective effect; cognitive-enhancing effect

MeSH Terms

Administration, Oral*
Alzheimer Disease
Body Weight
Cell Death
Memory Disorders
Models, Animal
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neuroprotective Agents
PC12 Cells
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Scopolamine Hydrobromide
Neuroprotective Agents
Scopolamine Hydrobromide
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