The Japanese Angelica acutiloba root and yokukansan increase hippocampal acetylcholine level, prevent apoptosis and improve memory in a rat model of repeated cerebral ischemia

Ai Nogami-Hara, Masaki Nagao, Kotaro Takasaki, Nobuaki Egashira, Risako Fujikawa, Kaori Kubota, Takuya Watanabe, Shutaro Katsurabayashi, Funda Bolukbasi Hatip, Izzettin Hatip-Al-Khatib, Katsunori Iwasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance Japanese Angelica acutiloba root (Angelica root) is included in several Kampo medicines including Yokukansan (YKS). Angelica root and YKS are used for the treatment of a variety of psychological and neurodegenerative disorders. Development of safe and effective therapeutic agents against cerebrovascular disorders will improve the treatment of patients with dementia. Aim of the study The effect of Angelica root and YKS on ischemia-impaired memory has not yet been fully investigated. The present study investigated whether Angelica root is also involved in memory improving and neuroprotective effect of YKS in a model of cerebrovascular ischemia. Materials and methods Male Wistar rats grouped into sham rats received saline, and other three groups subjected to repeated cerebral ischemia induced by 4-vessel occlusion (4-VO), received a 7-day oral administration of either saline, Angelica root or YKS. Memory was evaluated by eight-arm radial maze task. Acetylcholine release (ACh) in the dorsal hippocampus was investigated by microdialysis-HPLC. Apoptosis was determined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated fluorescein-deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP) nick-end labeling. Results Ischemia induced apoptosis, reduced release of ACh, and impaired the memory (increased error choices and decreased correct choices). Angelica root and YKS improved the memory deficits, upregulated the release of ACh and prevented 4-VO-induced hippocampal apoptosis. Conclusion The dual ACh-increasing and neuroprotective effect of Angelica root could make it a promising therapeutic agent useful for the treatment of symptoms of cerebrovascular dementia. Angelica root could be one of the components contributing to the memory-improving and neuroprotective effects of YKS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-196
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 25 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

Cite this