Urtica dioica leaves modulates muscarinic cholinergic system in the hippocampus of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice
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Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder and has been associated with cognitive dysfunction. In our earlier study, chronic Urtica dioica (UD) treatment significantly ameliorated diabetes induced associative and spatial memory deficit in mice. The present study was designed to explore the effect of UD leaves extract on muscarinic cholinergic system, which has long been known to be involved in cognition. Streptozotocin (STZ) (50 mg/kg, i.p., consecutively for 5 days) was used to induce diabetes followed by treatment with UD extract (50 mg/kg, oral) or rosiglitazone (5 mg/kg, oral) for 8 weeks. STZ-induced diabetic mice showed significant reduction in hippocampal muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-1 and choline acetyltransferase expressions. Chronic diabetes significantly up-regulated the protein expression of acetylcholinesterase associated with oxidative stress in hippocampus. Besides, STZ-induced diabetic mice showed hypolocomotion with up-regulation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-4 expression in striatum. Chronic UD treatment significantly attenuated the cholinergic dysfunction and oxidative stress in the hippocampus of diabetic mice. UD had no effect on locomotor activity and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-4 expression in striatum. In conclusion, UD leaves extract has potential to reverse diabetes mediated alteration in muscarinic cholinergic system in hippocampus and thereby improve memory functions.
KeywordsCholine acetyltransferase Cognition Diabetes mellitus Locomotor activity Muscarinic receptors Urtica dioica
Authors would like to thank Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (India) for financial assistance as Senior Research Fellowship (09/957/0002/2012/EMR-I).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
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