Annals of neurosciences

Assessment of Cholinergic Properties of Ashwagandha Leaf-Extract in the Amnesic Mouse Brain.

PMID 27647956


In our earlier study, we have shown the memory enhancing and scopolamine-induced amnesia recovery properties of Ashwagandha leaf extract using behavioral paradigm and expression analysis of synaptic plasticity genes. However, the exact mechanism through which Ashwagandha demonstrates these effects is still unknown. In the present study, we hypothesized that the alcoholic extract of Ashwagandha leaves (i-Extract) possesses cholinergic properties, which in turn inhibit the anti-cholinergic nature of scopolamine. Therefore, the potential of i-Extract to recover from the scopolamine-induced cholinergic deficits was assessed by measuring acetylcholine (neurotransmitter) and Arc (synaptic activity-related gene) expression level in the mouse brain. The enzymatic activity of acetyl cholinesterase and choline acetyltransferase was assessed through colorimetric assays, and expression level of Arc protein was examined by Western blotting. Furthermore, mRNA level of these genes was examined by semi-quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR. We observed that the treatment of i-Extract in scopolamine-induced amnesic mouse attenuates scopolamine-induced detrimental alterations in the cholinergic system. Thus, our study provided biochemical and molecular evidence of cholinergic properties of Ashwagandha leaf extract during brain disorders associated with cholinergic dysfunction.