Steroid-Enriched Fraction of Achyranthes bidentata Protects Amyloid β Peptide 1–40-Induced Cognitive Dysfunction and Neuroinflammation in Rats

  • Li-Wei Lin
  • Fan-Hsuan Tsai
  • Wan-Cheng Lan
  • Yih-Dih Cheng
  • Sheng-Chi LeeEmail author
  • Chi-Rei WuEmail author


The roots of Achyranthes bidentata Blume (AB) is commonly used in the treatment of osteoporosis and dementia in traditional Chinese medicine. Pharmacological reports evidenced that AB possessed anti-osteoarthritis effects. However, there is little literature about the anti-dementia activities of AB. The present study was designed to prepare steroid-enriched fraction of AB (ABS) and investigate whether ABS can protect from cognitive dysfunction and neuroinflammation against Aβ 1–40-induced Alzheimer’s disease (AD) model in rats. ABS only contained 135.11 ± 4.28 mg of ecdysterone per gram. ABS (50 mg/kg) reversed the dysfunction of exploratory activity and memory function on plus-maze and Morris water maze caused by Aβ 1–40 in rats. ABS (50 mg/kg) also decreased amyloid deposition, neurofibrillary tangle, neural damage, activated astrocyte, and microglial caused by Aβ 1–40. Furthermore, ABS reversed the phenomenon of neural oxidative damage and neuroinflammation, including the higher levels of MDA and cytokines, and the lower activities of antioxidant enzymes and GSH levels caused by Aβ 1–40 in rat cortex and hippocampus. Finally, ABS restored the activation of ERK pathway and decreased NF-κB phosphorylation and translocation altered by Aβ 1–40. ABS alone (50 mg/kg) promoted cognitive function, activated brain antioxidant defense system, and decreased brain TNF-α levels in sham group. Therefore, ABS has the cognition-promoting and antidementia potential. Steroids especial ecdysterone are major active components of AB. The action mechanism is due to decreasing oxidative stress and neuroinflammation through modulating ERK pathway, NF-κB phosphorylation, and translocation in Aβ 1–40-induced AD rat model.


Achyranthes bidentata Ecdysterone Aβ 1–40 Oxidative stress Neuroinflammation ERK/NF-κB pathway Hippocampus 


amyloid β peptide


Achyranthes bidentata


steroid-enriched fraction of Achyranthes bidentata




Alzheimer’s disease


5,5′-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid)


extracellular signal–regulated kinase


glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase


glial fibrillary acidic protein


glutathione peroxidase


glutathione reductase




high-performance liquid chromatography


ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1






c-Jun N-terminal kinase


mitogen-activated protein kinases




Morris water maze


nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate


nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells


neurofibrillary tangle




Parkinson’s disease








reactive oxygen species


superoxide dismutase


thiobarbituric acid


thiobarbituric acid reactive substances


tumor necrosis factor alpha.


Funding information

Financial support is from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (NSC 100-2320-B-214 -001, MOST104-2320-B-039-027-MY2, and MOST105-2622-B-039-003-CC2) and ISU-103-01-E-02.

Compliance with ethical standards

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of I-Shou University approved the experimental protocol (IACUC-ISU-9905), and the animals were cared according to the Guiding Principles for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chinese Medicines for Post-BaccalaureateI-Shou UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chinese Medicine ResourcesChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of PharmacyChina Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  4. 4.Pintung Branch, Kaohsiung Veterans General HospitalPitungTaiwan

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