Journal of veterinary science

Neuronal maturation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus via chronic oral administration of Artemisa annua extract is independent of cyclooxygenase 2 signaling pathway in diet-induced obesity mouse model.

PMID 27515272


Recently, we reported that Artemisia annua (AA) has anti-adipogenic properties in vitro and in vivo. Reduction of adipogenesis by AA treatment may dampen systemic inflammation and protect neurons from cytokine-induced damage. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to assess whether AA increases neuronal maturation by reducing inflammatory responses, such as those mediated by cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). Mice were fed normal chow or a high-fat diet with or without chronic daily oral administration of AA extract (0.2 g/10 mL/kg) for 4 weeks; then, changes in their hippocampal dentate gyri were measured via immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence staining for bromodexoxyuridine, doublecortin, and neuronal nuclei, markers of neuronal maturation, and quantitative western blotting for COX-2 and Iba-1, in order to assess correlations between systemic inflammation (interleukin-6) and food type. Additionally, we tested the effect of AA in an Alzheimer's disease model of Caenorhabditis elegans and uncovered a potential benefit. The results show that chronic AA dosing significantly increases neuronal maturation, particularly in the high-fat diet group. This effect was seen in the absence of any changes in COX-2 levels in mice given the same type of food, pointing to the possibility of alternate anti-inflammatory pathways in the stimulation of neurogenesis and neuro-maturation in a background of obesity.