eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 40
Experimental immunology

Matrine improves cognitive impairment and modulates the balance of Th17/Treg cytokines in a rat model of Aβ1-42-induced Alzheimer’s disease

Yanfeng Zhang
Meifeng Liu
Hongri Sun
Kuiming Yin

(Cent Eur J Immunol 2015; 40 (4): 411-419)
Online publish date: 2016/01/15
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Matrine (MAT) has been reported for its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. However, little is known about its effects on Th17/Treg cytokines and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the present study, we injected Aβ1-42 to the hippocampus of the rat to induce AD. Three groups of the AD rats were treated with MAT (25, 100 or 200 mg/kg/day, respectively) by intraperitoneal injection for 5 weeks. Levels of Th17 cell cytokines [interleukin (IL)-17A and IL-23] and regulatory T (Treg) cell cytokines [transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and IL-35] in homogenates of the brain cortex and hippocampus were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. The mRNA expressions of Th17 cell specific transcription factor RORt and Treg cell specific transcription factor Foxp3 in the brain cortex and hippocampus were quantified by real-time RT-PCR. Learning and memory ability of the rats were evaluated by Morris water maze test and novel object recognition test. ELISA detections showed the AD rats had increased levels of IL-17A and IL-23 as well as decreased levels of TGF-β and IL-35. Matrine (100 and 200 mg/kg/day) significantly reversed the alternations of Th17/Treg cytokines induced by Aβ1-42 injection, decreased RORt mRNA expression, increased Foxp3 mRNA expression and improved the learning and memory ability in the AD rats. The findings demonstrated that the AD rats had imbalance of Th17/Treg cytokines in the brain. MAT could dose-dependently restore the balance of Th17/Treg cytokines and attenuate the cognitive impairment in AD rats.

matrine, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive impairment, Th17 cell, Treg cell, cytokine

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