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Protective effect of fruits of Morinda citrifolia L. on scopolamine induced memory impairment in mice: A behavioral, biochemical and cerebral blood flow study

Ethnopharmacological relsevance: Noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) is widely used for different illnesses including CNS disorders. Recently Noni has been reported to prevent amyloid beta induced memory impairment in mice. However, the influence of Noni on cholinergic system has not been explored so far. Therefore, present study was designed to investigate effect of Noni fruit on memory, cerebral blood flow (CBF), oxidative stress and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in scopolamine induced amnesia model.

Materials and methods: Mice were orally treated with ethanolic extract of Noni fruit and chloroform, ethyl acetate and butanol fractions of ethanolic extract for three days. Scopolamine was administered 5 min prior to acquisition trial and memory function was evaluated by passive avoidance test. CBF was measured by laser doppler flowmetry. AChE activity and oxidative stress parameters were estimated in mice brain at the end of behavioral studies. Further, effect of ethanolic extract and its fractions (5–400 ug/ml) on AChE activity was measured in vitro.

Results: Scopolamine caused memory impairment along with reduced CBF, increased AChE activity and oxidative stress in mice brain. Ethanolic extract of Noni fruits and its chloroform and ethyl acetate frac-tions significantly improved memory and CBF. However, butanol fraction had no effect. Further, increased oxidative stress and AChE activity following scopolamine was significantly attenuated by ethanolic extract of Noni and its fractions. Moreover ethanolic extract and its fractions showed dose dependent inhibition of AChE activity in vitro.

Conclusion: These observations suggest that Noni may be useful in memory impairment due to its effect on CBF, AChE and oxidative stress.