Silibinin Alleviates the Learning and Memory Defects in Overtrained Rats Accompanying Reduced Neuronal Apoptosis and Senescence

  • Bo Liu
  • Weiwei Liu
  • Panwen Liu
  • Xiumin Liu
  • Xiaoyu Song
  • Toshihiko Hayashi
  • Satoshi Onodera
  • Takashi IkejimaEmail author
Original Paper


Excessive physical exercise (overtraining; OT) increases oxidative stress and induces damage in multiple organs including the brain, especially the hippocampus that plays an important role in learning and memory. Silibinin, a natural flavonoid derived from milk thistle of Silybum marianum, has been reported to exert neuroprotective effect. In this study, rats were subjected to overtraining exercise, and the protective effects of silibinin were investigated in these models. Morris water maze and novel object recognition tests showed that silibinin significantly attenuated memory defects in overtrained rats. At the same time, the results of Nissl, TUNEL and SA-β-gal staining showed that silibinin reversed neuronal loss caused by apoptosis, and delayed cell senescence of the hippocampus in the overtrained rats, respectively. In addition, silibinin decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) levels which is associated with reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Silibinin prevented impairment of learning and memory caused by excessive physical exercise in rats, accompanied by reduced apoptosis and senescence in hippocampus cells.


Overtraining Silibinin Hippocampus Apoptosis Senescence 



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wuya College of InnovationShenyang Pharmaceutical UniversityShenyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Medical Research CenterShenzhen University Health Science CenterShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry and Life Science, School of Advanced EngineeringKogakuin UniversityHachiojiJapan
  4. 4.Medical Research Institute of Curing MibyoMechidaJapan
  5. 5.Key Laboratory of Computational Chemistry-Based Natural Antitumor Drug Research & DevelopmentShenyang Pharmaceutical UniversityShenyangPeople’s Republic of China

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