Centella asiatica improves memory and promotes antioxidative signaling in 5XFAD mice

Donald G. Matthews, Maya Caruso, Charles F. Murchison, Jennifer Y. Zhu, Kirsten M. Wright, Christopher J. Harris, Nora E. Gray, Joseph F. Quinn, Amala Soumyanath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Centella asiatica (CA) herb is a traditional medicine, long reputed to provide cognitive benefits. We have reported that CA water extract (CAW) treatment improves cognitive function of aged Alzheimer’s disease (AD) model Tg2576 and wild-type (WT) mice, and induces an NRF2-regulated antioxidant response in aged WT mice. Here, CAW was administered to AD model 5XFAD female and male mice and WT littermates (age: 7.6 +/− 0.6 months), and object recall and contextual fear memory were tested after three weeks treatment. CAW’s impact on amyloid-β plaque burden, and markers of neuronal oxidative stress and synaptic density, was assessed after five weeks treatment. CAW antioxidant activity was evaluated via nuclear transcription factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NRF2) and NRF2-regulated antioxidant response element gene expression. Memory improvement in both genders and genotypes was associated with dose-dependent CAW treatment without affecting plaque burden, and marginally increased synaptic density markers in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. CAW treatment increased Nrf2 in hippocampus and other NRF2 targets (heme oxygenase-1, NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1, glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit). Reduced plaque-associated SOD1, an indicator of oxidative stress, was observed in the hippocampi and cortices of CAW-treated 5XFAD mice. We postulate that CAW treatment leads to reduced oxidative stress, contributing to improved neuronal health and cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0630
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • 5XFAD
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Antioxidant
  • Centella asiatica
  • Cognitive function
  • Memory
  • Mouse model
  • NRF2
  • Neuritic dystrophy
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Centella asiatica improves memory and promotes antioxidative signaling in 5XFAD mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this