Abstract

Codonopsis pilosula Polysaccharides (CPPs), a traditional Chinese medicine used for thousands of years, is a potential neuroprotective polysaccharide via a relatively poorly understood mechanism. We previously reported that CPPs attenuated tau pathology in hTau transfected mice and therefore in the current work investigated the effect of CPPs on Aβ toxicity and cognitive defects in APP/PS1 mice model. It was found that one-month intragastric administration of CPPs significantly ameliorated cognitive defects in APP/PS1 mice. In addition, CPPs treatment mitigated the loss of the synaptic plasticity and increased the synaptic proteins including synaptotagmin and PSD95. The expression of Aβ42 and Aβ40 was remarkably decreased in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice after CPPs treatment. We also found that CPPs coincubation significantly reduced the amount of APPβ and Aβ42 expression in cells. Intriguingly, the activity of BACE1 was decreased following CPPs treatment in both the hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice and in vitro experiments. Collectively, these results indicated that CPPs attenuated Aβ pathology in APP/PS1 mice, and down-regulating BACE1 might be the underlaying mechanism which could be a therapeutic target for alleviating cognitive defects in AD pathology.