Neurochemical Research

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 972–983 | Cite as

Chrysophanol Relieves Cognition Deficits and Neuronal Loss Through Inhibition of Inflammation in Diabetic Mice

  • Xu Chu
  • Shuhu Zhou
  • Ran Sun
  • Lin Wang
  • Chunye Xing
  • Ruqing Liang
  • Qingxia Kong
Original Paper


Patients with diabetes mellitus are easy to experience diabetic encephalopathy (DE) and other cognition dysfunction, whereas the neural alterations in developing this disease are unknown yet. Chrysophanol (CHR) is one of traditional Chinese medicine which was reported to show protective effects in cognition dysfunction and inflammatory in previously studies. In this current study, whether CHR protects learning and memory dysfunctions induced by diabetes disease or not and underlying mechanisms were studied. DE model was induced by streptozotocin (STZ, i.p.) in ICR mice. CHR was administrated 3 days after STZ treated mice which was confirmed with diabetes for consecutive 6 days. Learning and memory function was tested by Morris water maze after the CHR injection. The morphology of neuronal cells in hippocampus CA3 region was stained by HE-staining. ELISA and Western blot assay were used to determine the levels of pro-inflammation cytokines (IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, TNF-α) in hippocampus. Here, we demonstrated that mice harboring diabetes mellitus induced by STZ exhibit high blood glucose, learning and memory deficits detected by Morris water maze behavior tests. Application with CHR right after developing diabetes disease rescues partial blood sugar increasing, learning and memory deficits. The data also indicated that the death rate of neurons and the number of astrocytes in hippocampus CA3 region was significantly improved in diabetic mice. Moreover, the underlying mechanisms of CHR’s protective effect are likely associated with anti-inflammation by downregulating the expression of pro-inflammation cytokines (IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, TNF-α) in hippocampus and inhibiting the over-activation of astrocytes in hippocampus CA3 region. Therefore, application with CHR contributes to the learning and memory deficits induced by diabetes disease via inhibitory expressions of inflammatory in hippocampus region.


Chrysophanol Diabetic encephalopathy Cognition dysfunction Pro-inflammation cytokines Astrocytes 



Diabetic encephalopathy






Alzheimer disease




Tumor necrosis factor


Cornu ammonis


Morris water maze



This work was supported by Science and Technology development Plan of Jining city (JKZ[2015]57-94).

Author Contributions

QK designed the study. XC, SZ, RS, LW, and CX performed the experiments and collected the data. XC, SZ, and RS analyzed and interpreted the experimental data. XC and CX prepared the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xu Chu
    • 1
  • Shuhu Zhou
    • 1
  • Ran Sun
    • 1
  • Lin Wang
    • 1
  • Chunye Xing
    • 1
  • Ruqing Liang
    • 1
  • Qingxia Kong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyAffiliated Hospital of Jining Medical UniversityJiningPeople’s Republic of China

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