Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a degenerative disorder typified by progressive deterioration of memory and the appearance of β-amyloid peptide (Aβ)-rich senile plaques. Recently we have identified a novel function of a patented formulation of modified Huanglian-Jie-Tu-Tang (HLJDT-M), a Chinese herbal medicine, in treating AD in in vitro studies (US patent No. 9,375,457). HLJDT-M is a formulation composed of Rhizoma Coptitis, Cortex Phellodendri and Fructus Gardeniae without Radix Scutellariae. Here, we assessed the efficacy of HLJDT-M on a triple transgenic mouse model of AD (3XTg-AD). Oral administration of HLJDT-M ameliorated the cognitive dysfunction of 3XTg-AD mice and lessened the plaque burden. In addition, biochemical assays revealed a significant decrease in levels of detergent-soluble and acid-soluble Aβ via decreasing the levels of full length amyloid-β precursor protein (FL-APP) and C-terminal fragments of APP (CTFs) in brain lysates of HLJDT-M-treated mice. HLJDT-M treatment also significantly reduced the levels of FL-APP and CTFs in N2a/SweAPP cells. In contrast, treatment using the classical formula HLJDT did not reduce the memory impairment of 3XTg-AD mice and, rather, increased the Aβ/Fl-APP/CTFs in both animal and cell culture studies. Altogether, our study indicates that HLJDT-M is a promising herbal formulation to prevent and/or cure AD.
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