Zataria multiflora could improve hippocampal tau protein and TNFα levels and cognitive behavior defects in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Physiology division of Basic Science Department, School of Vet Med; Shiraz University, Shiraz—Iran

2 Physiology division of Basic Science Department, School of Vet Med; Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.

3 Pharmacology division of Basic Science Department, School of Vet Med; Shiraz University, Shiraz—Iran


Objective: Zataria multiflora (ZM) is a plant with ethnopharmacological value which was recently tested to reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of ZM essential oil on spatial cognitive and noncognitive behavior, as well as hippocampal tau protein and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) concentrations in rats with AD.
Materials and Methods: Thirty-five adult male Sprague Dawley rats (300±30 g) were randomly divided into 5 groups: control (intact rats); sham (received intracerebroventricular (ICV) microinjection of normal saline); AD control (rats with AD that did not receive any treatment); vehicle control (rats with AD that orally received tween-80, 5% (ZM essential oil vehicle) for 20 days) and experimental (rats with AD that orally received ZM essential oil 100 µl/kg/day for 20 days). AD was induced by bidirectional microinjection of β amyloid 1-42 (10 µg/2µl). Tau protein and TNFα concentrations were measured by ELISA methods. Spatial cognitive and noncognitive behavior were determined by Morris water maze (MWM) test.
Results: ZM essential oil significantly improved latency time, time spent in the target quarter and cognitive behavior of rats with AD compared to control and sham groups (p<0.05). Hippocampal tau protein and TNFα concentrations were significantly higher in both AD control and vehicle groups compared to control and sham groups respectively (p Conclusion: ZM essential oil improves spatial learning and memory of rats with AD as assessed by MWM test. These effects are associated with decreased concentrations of hippocampal tau protein and TNFα.


Main Subjects

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