The administration of an autophagy-promoting nutraceutical can improve cognitive function in an amyloid-beta42-injection mouse model of Alzheimer´s disease

[Speaker] Liao, Yung-feng:1
[Co-author] Chen, Yun-wen:1, Wang, Bo-jeng:1, Chen, Pei-yeh R:1, Huang, Chang-jen:1
1:Academia Sinica (Taiwan)

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. Accumulated evidence has suggested that enhanced autophagic clearance of amyloid-b (Aβ) and Tau, the two pathological hallmarks of AD, could significantly slow down the progression of neurodegeneration in AD. We thus seek to identify novel autophgy-enhancing agents from herbal extracts and determine whether herbal extracts effective on inducing autophagy can reduce Aβ-elicited neurotoxicity. Using cell-based reporter assays for autophagy, we have identified an herbal extract (HE238) that can effectively induce autophagy to promote the clearance of Aβ in cultured cells. Oral administration of HE238 for 2 month also significantly improves the cognitive function in an Aβ42-injection mouse model. This cognitive improvement is accompanied by elevated autophagic activity and improved neuronal survival in the brain. Our data suggest that the active ingredients of HE238 could present an enormous resource for AD-alleviating agents.
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