Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has become a major world health problem as the population ages. There is still no available treatment that can stop or reverse the progression of AD. Human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs), an alternative source for stem cells, have shown neuroprotective and neurorestorative potentials when transplanted in vivo. Besides, studies have suggested that stem cell priming with plant-derived bioactive compounds can enhance stem cell proliferation and differentiation and improve the disease-treating capability of stem cells. Verbenalin is an iridoid glucoside found in medicinal herbs of Verbenaceae family. In the present study, we have conducted microarray gene expression profiling of verbenalin-treated hAECs to explore its therapeutic potential for AD. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed verbenalin treatment significantly enriched AD-associated gene sets. Genes associated with lysosomal dysfunction, pathologic angiogenesis, pathologic protein aggregation, circadian rhythm, age-related neurometabolism, and neurogenesis were differentially expressed in the verbenalin-treated hAECs compared to control cells. Additionally, the neuroprotective effect of verbenalin was confirmed against amyloid beta-induced neurotoxicity in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Our present study is the first to report the therapeutic potential of verbenalin for AD; however, further in-depth research in the in vitro and in vivo models are required to confirm our preliminary findings.