Neurochemical Research

, Volume 39, Issue 8, pp 1533–1543 | Cite as

Effects of Long-Term Treatment with Quercetin on Cognition and Mitochondrial Function in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Dong-Mei Wang
  • San-Qiang Li
  • Wen-Lan Wu
  • Xiao-Ying Zhu
  • Yong Wang
  • Hong-Ying Yuan
Original Paper


Amyloid-β (Aβ)-induced mitochondrial dysfunction has been recognized as a prominent, early event in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Therefore, therapeutics targeted to improve mitochondrial function could be beneficial. Quercetin, a bioflavanoid, has been reported to have potent neuro-protective effects, but its preventive effects on Aβ-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and cognitive impairment have not been well characterised. Three-month-old APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice were randomly assigned to a vehicle group, two quercetin (either 20 or 40 mg kg−1 day−1) groups, or an Aricept (2 mg kg−1 day−1) group. After 16 weeks of treatment, we observed beneficial effects of quercetin (40 mg kg−1 day−1), including lessening learning and memory deficits, reducing scattered senile plaques, and ameliorating mitochondrial dysfunction, as evidenced by restoration of mitochondrial membrane potential, reactive oxygen species and ATP levels in mitochondria isolated from the hippocampus compared to control. Furthermore, the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity significantly increased in the quercetin-treated (40 mg kg−1 day−1) group. These findings suggest that a reduction in plaque burden and mitochondrial dysfunction through the activation of AMPK may be one of the mechanisms by which quercetin improves cognitive functioning in the APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mouse model of AD.


Quercetin Amyloid-beta protein Transgenic mice Cognitive ability Mitochondria 



Alzheimer’s disease



Mitochondrial membrane potential


Reactive oxygen species


AMP-activated protein kinase


Amyloid precursor protein



The present work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (U1304806) and the Scientific Research Fund of Henan University of Science and Technology (NO. 09001664).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dong-Mei Wang
    • 1
  • San-Qiang Li
    • 2
  • Wen-Lan Wu
    • 1
  • Xiao-Ying Zhu
    • 1
  • Yong Wang
    • 1
  • Hong-Ying Yuan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathogen Biology, Medical CollegeHenan University of Science and TechnologyLuoyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical CollegeHenan University of Science and TechnologyLuoyangChina

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