Centella asiatica (CA), commonly named gotu kola, is an Ayurvedic herb used to enhance memory and nerve function. To investigate the potential use of CA in Alzheimer's disease (AD), we examined the effects of a water extract of CA (GKW) in the Tg2576 mouse, a murine model of AD with high -amyloid burden. Orally administered GKW attenuated -amyloid-associated behavioral abnormalities in these mice. In vitro, GKW protected SH-SY5Y cells and MC65 human neuroblastoma cells from toxicity induced by exogenously added and endogenously generated -amyloid, respectively. GKW prevented intracellular -amyloid aggregate formation in MC65 cells. GKW did not show anticholinesterase activity or protect neurons from oxidative damage and glutamate toxicity, mechanisms of current AD therapies. GKW is rich in phenolic compounds and does not contain asiatic acid, a known CA neuroprotective triterpene. CA thus offers a unique therapeutic mechanism and novel active compounds of potential relevance to the treatment of AD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience