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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14396-14410; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814396

Neuroprotective Effects of Sulforaphane on Cholinergic Neurons in Mice with Alzheimer’s Disease-Like Lesions

1
Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Shenyang 110001, China
2
Department of Clinical Nutrition, First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Heping District, Shenyang 110001, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 July 2014 / Revised: 5 August 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 18 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative disease in elderly individuals, and effective therapies are unavailable. This study was designed to investigate the neuroprotective effects of sulforaphane (an activator of NF-E2-related factor 2) on mice with AD-like lesions induced by combined administration of aluminum and d-galactose. Step-down-type passive avoidance tests showed sulforaphane ameliorated cognitive impairment in AD-like mice. Immunohistochemistry results indicated sulforaphane attenuated cholinergic neuron loss in the medial septal and hippocampal CA1 regions in AD-like mice. However, spectrophotometry revealed no significant difference in acetylcholine level or the activity of choline acetyltransferase or acetylcholinesterase in the cerebral cortex among groups of control and AD-like mice with and without sulforaphane treatment. Sulforaphane significantly increased the numbers of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine-positive neurons in the subventricular and subgranular zones in AD-like mice which were significantly augmented compared with controls. Atomic absorption spectrometry revealed significantly lower aluminum levels in the brains of sulforaphane-treated AD-like mice than in those that did not receive sulforaphane treatment. In conclusion, sulforaphane ameliorates neurobehavioral deficits by reducing cholinergic neuron loss in the brains of AD-like mice, and the mechanism may be associated with neurogenesis and aluminum load reduction. These findings suggest that phytochemical sulforaphane has potential application in AD therapeutics. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; sulforaphane; neurobehavior; cholinergic neuron Alzheimer’s disease; sulforaphane; neurobehavior; cholinergic neuron
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Zhang, R.; Zhang, J.; Fang, L.; Li, X.; Zhao, Y.; Shi, W.; An, L. Neuroprotective Effects of Sulforaphane on Cholinergic Neurons in Mice with Alzheimer’s Disease-Like Lesions. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 14396-14410.

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