Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Boswellia from the family Burseraceae has been proposed for prevention of amnesia; however, the molecular mechanism by which it affects memory is not clear. To reveal the potential molecular mechanism, the effects of boswellia on the expression of two memory related genes, CREB and BDNF, were investigated. Materials and methods: Twenty-one male rats were randomly divided into 3 groups (n = 7): the control group received distilled water and the treatment groups received two doses of aqueous extract of Boswellia serrata gum resin (boswellia) (50 and 100 mg/kg) every day for 4 weeks. The animals were tested by the Morris water maze (MWM) and their hippocampus was isolated. Expression of CREB and BDNF genes was analyzed by Q-RT-PCR. Results: The MWM test showed improvement in spatial learning and memory in both treatment groups. Gene expression analysis revealed a significant increase in BDNF but not CREB expression in rats treated with both 50 and 100 mg/kg doses in comparison with the control group. Conclusion: Although boswellia exerts its effects on memory formation at least partly by affecting the expression of BDNF, the results imply that boswellia probably affects memory via another BDNF-related pathway than the BDNF-CREB-BDNF cycle.

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