Abstract ID: 3644

Primary Topic: Natural products/botanicals/supplements
Secondary Topic: Basic Science
Tertiary Topic: Research Methodology

Maya Caruso, BS; Nora Gray, PhD; Don Don Matthews, PhD; Christopher Harris, BS; Kirsten Wright, ND, MS; Amala Soumyanath, PhD; Joe Quinn, MD, , Portland, OR, United States

Late Breaker: No


Centella asiatica (CA) is a traditional botanical medicine believed to enhance memory. We have reported that CA water extract (CAW) protects neuroblastoma cells and primary neurons from beta amyloid (Aβ) toxicity in vitro. The presence of Aβ plaques in the brain are a hallmark pathological feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We therefore examined the effects of CAW on memory in the Tg2576 and 5xFAD transgenic mouse models of AD which develop brain Aβ plaques and show learning and memory deficits.  Tg2576 mice develop plaques by 18-20 months of age, whereas 5xFAD animals develop them earlier, by 5-7 months of age.

Methods/Session Format

Female Tg2576 (age 20 months) or 5xFAD (age 6.9-8.5 months) mice and their wild type (WT) littermates were treated with CAW dissolved in their drinking water (0, 2 or 5 mg/mL).  Memory was evaluated using the novel object recognition test (NORT) and the conditioned fear response (CFR) test after 3 and 4 weeks treatment respectively. 


Untreated Tg2576 animals showed memory deficits compared to WT littermates in both the NORT (p<0.01) and CFR tests (p<0.05) confirming a genotype effect. CAW (2 mg/ mL) improved memory of Tg2576, but not WT littermates, in both the NORT (p<0.05) and CFR (p<0.05) paradigms.  Untreated 5xFAD mice differed from WT mice in the CFR test (p<0.05) but not in the NORT.  CAW dose dependently improved behavior of 5xFAD animals in the CFR test at 2mg /mL (p<0.01) and 5mg/mL (p<0.001), but only the higher dose improved memory in WT littermates (p <0.05).  A non-significant trend to improved memory was seen in the NORT for the 5xFAD mice at 5mg/mL CAW.


CAW improved cognition in 5xFAD and Tg2576 mice, supporting its traditional use as a memory enhancer and its potential utility in treating Alzheimer’s Disease.