Reversal of scopolamine-induced deficits in navigational memory performance by the seed oil of celastrus paniculatus (CP)

M. Gatlu, K. L. Boss, Alvin V Terry, J. J. Buccafusco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


CP is a medicinal plant indigenous to India from which the expressed seed oil has been reputed to be useful as an anti-dementia drug. We investigated the effects of the seed oil of CP on spatial memory in 12 week old male rats performing the Morris water maze (MWM) task. Rats recieved 4 trails/day over 4 days of aquisition testing. Acute single dose treatment with CP (200 mg/kg, p.o.) did not significantly reverse the scopolamine (0.5 mg/kg, s.c.)-induced impairment of MWM performance. However, CP administration as a single daily oral pretreatment (50, 200, or 400 mg/kg) for 14 days produced a complete reversal of scopolamine-induced impairment of the MWM task on the 2nd and 3rd days of testing. Chronic 14 day treatment with 200 mg/kg, p.o. of CP alone produced a significant improvement in MWM performance compared with vehicle controls only on the first day of testing. Neither acute nor chronic treatment with CP affected the scopolamine-induced increase in motor activity. Also, chronic treatment with CP did not alter frontal cortical acetylcholinesterase levels. The requirement for chronic administration of CP to reverse the acute amnestic actions of scopolamine argues against an immediate cholinergic agonist-like effect of the drug. However, the efficacy of the drug, its broad range of effective doses, and its lack of overt toxicity make it a good candidate for further consideration as a potential druq for Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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