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Pycnogenol in Alzheimer's Disease

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:33 am
by NHE
French maritime pine bark treatment decelerates plaque development and improves spatial memory in Alzheimer's disease mice
Phytomedicine. 2019 Apr;57:39-48.

Background: Plant extracts are increasingly investigated as potential drugs against Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia in general. Pycnogenol is an extract from the bark of the French maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton subsp. atlantica) with known anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effects.

Hypothesis/purpose: Pycnogenol is thought to improve cognitive functions in elderly. We wanted to investigate and quantify these effects in a model system of cerebral ß-amyloidosis/AD.

Study design/methods: This study experimentally assessed the effects of Pycnogenol on AD-related pathology in a ß-amyloidosis mouse model. APP-transgenic mice and controls were treated orally in a pre-onset and post-onset treatment paradigm. The effects of Pycnogenol were characterized by analysing ß-amyloid (Aß) plaques, number of neurons, glia coverage, myelination pattern, and cortical coverage with axons using immunohistochemistry. Aß levels were quantified using ELISA and gene expression levels of APP-processing enzymes ADAM10, BACE1 and IDE protein levels were determined by Western blot. Behavioural changes in circadian rhythm were monitored and spatial memory / cognition was assessed using a water maze test.

Results: Pycnogenol significantly decreased the number of plaques in both treatment paradigms but did not alter levels of soluble Aß or the gene expression of APP-processing enzymes. The morphological analyses revealed no changes in the number of neurons, astrocytes, microglia, the myelination pattern, or the morphology of axons. Behavioural testing revealed an improvement of the spatial memory in the pre-onset treatment paradigm only.

Conclusion: Our results suggest to evaluate clinically a potential use of Pycnogenol in the prevention or in early stages of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD.

Re: Pycnogenol in Alzheimer's Disease

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:36 am
by NHE
Pycnogenol protects neurons from amyloid-beta peptide-induced apoptosis
Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2002 Jul 15;104(1):55-65

Neuronal apoptosis is one of the pathological features of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Morphological pathology reveals that neuronal apoptosis is associated with senile plaques containing amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) in AD brains. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been proposed to be involved in the apoptotic mechanism of Abeta-mediated neurotoxicity. In the present study, using a rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cell line, we investigated the effect of Pycnogenol (PYC), a potent antioxidant and ROS scavenger, on Abeta(25-35)-induced apoptosis and ROS generation. We used vitamin E, a known antioxidant agent, to verify the effect of PYC. Abeta(25-35)-induced apoptosis in PC12 cells was demonstrated by: (1) a dose-dependent loss of cell viability; (2) a time- and dose-dependent increase in the apoptotic cells; (3) an induction of DNA fragmentation; and (4) an increase in caspase-3 activity and cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Our data showed that a significant increase in ROS formation preceded apoptotic events after PC12 cells were exposed to Abeta(25-35). We further found that PYC not only suppressed the generation of ROS but also attenuated caspase-3 activation, DNA fragmentation, PARP cleavage, and eventually protected against Abeta-induced apoptosis. Vitamin E also suppressed cell death and caspase-3 activation induced by Abeta(25-35). Taken together, these results suggest that ROS may be involved in Abeta-induced apoptosis in PC12 cells. They further suggest that PYC can reduce apoptosis, possibly by decreasing free radical generation in PC12 cells.