Effects of radix polygalae on cognitive decline and depression in estradiol depletion mouse model of menopause

Gaeul Han, Junhyuk Choi, Seung Yun Cha, Byung Il Kim, Hee Kyung Kho, Maeng Jin Jang, Mi Ae Kim, Sungho Maeng, Heeok Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Postmenopausal syndrome refers to symptoms caused by the gradual decrease in female hormones after mid-40 years. As a target organ of estrogen, decrease in estrogen causes various changes in brain function such as a decrease in choline acetyltransferase and brain-derived neu-rotrophic factor; thus, postmenopausal women experience cognitive decline and more depressive symptoms than age-matched men. Radix Polygalae has been used for memory boosting and as a mood stabilizer and its components have shown neuroprotective, antidepressant, and stress re-lief properties. In a mouse model of estrogen depletion induced by 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide, Radix Polygalae was orally administered for 3 weeks. In these animals, cognitive and depression-related behaviors and molecular changes related to these behaviors were measured in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Radix Polygalae improved working memory and contextual memory and despair-related behaviors in 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide-treated mice without increasing serum estradiol levels in this model. In relation to these behaviors, choline acetyltransferase and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus and bcl-2-associated athanogene expression increased in the hippocampus. These results implicate the possible benefit of Radix Polygalae in use as a supplement of estrogen to prevent conditions such as postmenopausal depression and cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1669-1684
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Issues in Molecular Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Cognition
  • Depression
  • Estrogen
  • Radix polygalae
  • VCD


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