Toxicology and applied pharmacology

A silk peptide fraction restores cognitive function in AF64A-induced Alzheimer disease model rats by increasing expression of choline acetyltransferase gene.

PMID 27871887


This study investigated the effects of a silk peptide fraction obtained by incubating silk proteins with Protease N and Neutrase (SP-NN) on cognitive dysfunction of Alzheimer disease model rats. In order to elucidate underlying mechanisms, the effect of SP-NN on the expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) mRNA was assessed in F3.ChAT neural stem cells and Neuro2a neuroblastoma cells; active amino acid sequence was identified using HPLC-MS. The expression of ChAT mRNA in F3.ChAT cells increased by 3.79-fold of the control level by treatment with SP-NN fraction. The active peptide in SP-NN was identified as tyrosine-glycine with 238.1 of molecular weight. Male rats were orally administered with SP-NN (50 or 300mg/kg) and challenged with a cholinotoxin AF64A. As a result of brain injury and decreased brain acetylcholine level, AF64A induced astrocytic activation, resulting in impairment of learning and memory function. Treatment with SP-NN exerted recovering activities on acetylcholine depletion and brain injury, as well as cognitive deficit induced by AF64A. The results indicate that, in addition to a neuroprotective activity, the SP-NN preparation restores cognitive function of Alzheimer disease model rats by increasing the release of acetylcholine.

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Acetylcholine bromide, ≥99%