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Background and objective: L-methionine is found in natural products such as meat, milk and cereal grain. It is a non-essential amino acid and can be changed to homocysteine by methylation. Excess accumulation of homocysteine is a course of hyperhomocysteinemia and leads to memory deficit. Caffeic acid is a phenolic compound found in coffee and tea. Previous studies reported the neuroprotective effect of caffeic acid on memory and cognitive functions. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the neuroprotective effect of caffeic acid against L-methionine induced memory deficit.
Methods: Sixty male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 6 groups: control, L-met, caffeic acid 20, caffeic acid 40, caffeic acid 20+L-met, caffeic acid 40+L-met groups. The control group received propylene glycol and carboxymethyl cellulose by oral gavage once a day for 28 hours. The caffeic acid 20, caffeic acid 40, caffeic acid 20+L-met, caffeic acid 40+L-met groups, caffeic acid (20 and 40 mg/kg) and L-methionine (1.7 g/kg) groups were administered by oral gavage once a day for 28 days. Changes of body weight and locomotor activity were examined. Moreover, spatial and recognition memory were determined using the novel object location (NOL) and novel object recognition (NOR) tests, respectively.
Results: The results demonstrated that caffeic acid (20 and 40 mg) and L-methionine did not have a negative effect on the body weight and locomotor activity. Impairments of spatial and recognition memories were found in the L-met group, but was not detected in the other groups
Conclusion: This study reveals that caffeic acid (20 and 40 mg) could potentially protect against L-methionine induced memory deficits.
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