Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Print version ISSN 1984-8250
GALVAO, Suzana Maria Pereira et al. Memory retrieval improvement by Heteropterys aphrodisiaca in aging rats. Braz. J. Pharm. Sci. [online]. 2011, vol.47, n.4, pp.825-832. ISSN 1984-8250. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-82502011000400020.
Few data exists about the pharmacological properties of Heteropterys aphrodisiaca O. Mach. (Malpighiaceae), which is native to the scrubland regions of Brazil. The present study investigated the effects of oral treatment with H. aphrodisiaca extract (BST0298) on the learning and memory of young (3-6 months) and aged (21-23 months) rats, and compared the in vitro antioxidant activity of three lots collected in different years. An improvement in the number of sessions to learn the task was observed in the left/right discrimination test in aged rats treated for 45 days with 25 mg/kg (7.0 ± 0.5; p=0.005) or 50 mg/kg (7.6 ± 0.6; p=0.012) compared with control old rats (11.0 ± 1.6). On the other hand, pre-treatment did not improve the performance of scopolamine-treated mice in the passive avoidance test. The in vitro malondialdehyde test showed that all three different extracts presented similar antioxidant activity. The flavonoids astilbin, isoastilbin and neoastilbin were isolated from the extract and may contribute to the biological activity. These results suggest that repeated treatment with H. aphrodisiaca improves learning and memory, probably by a non-muscarinic mechanism.
Keywords : Heteropterys aphrodisiaca O. Mach [pharmacognosy]; Heteropterys aphrodisiaca O. Mach [antioxidant activity]; Malpighiaceae [pharmacognosy]; Antioxidants; Flavonoids; Plant extract.