Anat Cell Biol.  2020 Jun;53(2):216-227. 10.5115/acb.20.011.

Aster ageratoides Turcz. extract attenuates Alzheimer’s disease-associated cognitive deficits and vascular dementia-associated neuronal death

  • 1Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Korea
  • 2Department of Herbal Crop Research, National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration, Eumseong, Korea


Dementia is the common neurodegenerative disorder affecting the elderly, with a progressive cognitive decline and memory loss. Since Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VD) share key pathologies including oxidative damage, oral supplement of phytochemical medicines, which are well-known for their antioxidant properties, can be a viable therapy for both types of dementia. In this study, the therapeutic potential of the Aster ageratoides extract (AAE), an oriental drug with multiple medicinal properties, was tested on experimental rat models of AD and VD. After confirming the in vitro attenuation of neuronal excitotoxicity by AAE, rats were orally administered with AAE for 7 days and subsequently tested under 2 different experimental paradigms: efficacy screening against #1 AD and #2 VD. For paradigm #1, the rats received intraperitoneal scopolamine and subsequently underwent 3 different behavior tests i.e., the Y-maze, novel object recognition, and passive avoidance tests. For paradigm #2, the rats were operated with the 2-vessel occlusion and hypovolemia (2VO/H) technique, and at postoperative day 7, their hippocampal neuronal viability and the neuroinflammatory changes were quantified. The results showed that the scopolamine-induced impairment of memory performance was significantly improved by AAE intake. Furthermore, while the 2VO/H operation induced marked hippocampal neuronal death and microglial activation, both these effects were significantly attenuated by AAE supplements. Some of the aforementioned effects of AAE intake were dose-dependent. These results provided evidence that AAE supplements can exert anti-AD and -VD efficacies and suggested that AAE might be used as an edible phytotherapeutic for the 2 major types of dementia.


Alzheimer disease; Vascular dementia; Aster ageratoides; Neuroinflammation; 2-vessel occlusion
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