Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 173–181 | Cite as

Neuroprotective effects of matrine on scopolamine-induced amnesia via inhibition of AChE/BuChE and oxidative stress

  • Kaiyue SunEmail author
  • Yuting Bai
  • Rong Zhao
  • Zijiao Guo
  • Xiang Su
  • Peiqi Li
  • Pengyu Yang
Original Article


The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of matrine (MAT) on scopolamine (SCOP)-induced learning and memory impairment. After successive oral administration of MAT to mice for three days at doses of 0.4, 2, and 10 mg/kg, we assessed improvements in learning and memory and investigated the mechanism of action of SCOP-induced amnesia. Donepezil at a dose of 3 mg/kg was used as a standard memory enhancer. MAT significantly improved SCOP-induced learning and memory impairment in novel object recognition and Y-maze tests at doses of 0.4, 2, and 10 mg/kg. Furthermore, MAT inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) activities and decreased oxidative stress in the brain, as evidenced by increased total antioxidant capacity, total superoxide dismutase levels, and catalase activities as well as decreased malondialdehyde levels. Additionally, there was a significant negative correlation between the percentage of spontaneous alternation in the Y maze and AChE activity in the cortex and hippocampus. MAT ameliorated SCOP-induced amnesia by the inhibition of both AChE/BuChE activities and oxidative stress. This study provides further evidence to encourage the development of MAT as a drug for the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.


Matrine Cholinesterase Anti-oxidative stress Learning and memory Alzheimer’s disease 








Alzheimer’s disease














novel object recognition


nuclear factor-E2 related factor-2




total anti-oxidantant capacity


total superoxide dismutase



This work was supported by the grant from Shanxi Agricultural University Science and Technology Innovation Fund (2014YJ04), China.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

Animals’ use and disposal had been approved by the animal ethics committee of Shanxi Agricultural University.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineShanxi Agricultural UniversityTaiguPeople’s Republic of China

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