Aqueous and hydroalcoholic extracts of Black Maca (Lepidium meyenii) improve scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice

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Rubio J.
Dang H.
Gong M.
Liu X.
Chen S.-l.
Gonzales G.F.
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Lepidium meyenii Walp. (Brassicaceae), known as Maca, is a Peruvian hypocotyl growing exclusively between 4000 and 4500 m altitude in the central Peruvian Andes, particularly in Junin plateau. Previously, Black variety of Maca showed to be more beneficial than other varieties of Maca on learning and memory in ovariectomized mice on the water finding test. The present study aimed to test two different doses of aqueous (0.50 and 2.00 g/kg) and hydroalcoholic (0.25 and 1.00 g/kg) extracts of Black Maca administered for 35 days on memory impairment induced by scopolamine (1 mg/kg body weight i.p.) in male mice. Memory and learning were evaluated using the water Morris maze and the step-down avoidance test. Brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and monoamine oxidase (MAO) activities in brain were also determined. Both extracts of Black Maca significantly ameliorated the scopolamine-induced memory impairment as measured in both the water Morris maze and the step-down avoidance tests. Black Maca extracts inhibited AChE activity, whereas MAO activity was not affected. These results indicate that Black Maca improves scopolamine-induced memory deficits.
Peng Bo, Hu Qin, Xiaming Wen, Yang Keli, Jiang Zhen and Sandra Yucra are acknowledged for their help in this study. Special thanks to the joint financial support for this work from the National Nature Science Foundation of China, NSFC in 2004 (30472016/C03020701) and from Peruvian National Council of Sciences, Technology and Innovation (CONCYTEC) through the grant PROCOM 2005 and support for travel. Julio Rubio was on leave from the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru (UPCH) through the Memorandum of Understanding between IMPLAD, CONCYTEC and UPCH.
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treatment outcome, acetylcholinesterase, alcohol, amine oxidase (flavin containing), Lepidium meyenii extract, scopolamine, animal experiment, animal model, animal tissue, aqueous solution, article, avoidance behavior, brain protection, controlled study, drug effect, enzyme activity, learning, male, maze test, memory disorder, mouse, nonhuman, treatment duration, Acetylcholine, Animals, Avoidance Learning