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.
- Radix polygalae