Alleviatory effects of Danshen, Salvianolic acid A and Salvianolic acid B on PC12 neuronal cells and Drosophila melanogaster model of Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of neurodegenerative disorder worldwide. Its pathogenesis involves the hallmark aggregation of amyloid-beta (Aβ). Of all the Aβ oligomers formed in the brain, Aβ42 has been found to be the most toxic and aggressive. Despite this, the mechanism behind this disease remains elusive. With the ability to utilize various genetic manipulations, Drosophila melanogaster is ideal in analysing not only cellular characteristics, but also physiological and behavioural traits of human neurodegenerative diseases. Danshen water extract (DWE), obtained from the root of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, was found to have a vast array of beneficial properties. In this study, DWE, and its major components, Salvianolic acid A (SalA) and Salvianolic acid B (SalB) were tested for their abilities to ameliorate Aβ42's effects. DWE, SalA and SalB were confirmed to be able to reduce fibrillation of Aβ42. As Aβ42 causes neurodegeneration on neurons, DWE, SalA and SalB were tested on Aβ42-treated PC12 neuronal cells and were shown to increase cell viability. DWE and its components were then tested on the Drosophila melanogaster AD model and their rescue effects were further characterized. When human Aβ42 was expressed, the Drosophila exhibited degenerated eye structures known as the rough eye phenotype (REP), reduced lifespan and deteriorated locomotor ability. Administration of DWE, SalA and SalB partially reverted the REP, increased the age of AD Drosophila and improved most of the mobility of AD Drosophila . In conclusion, DWE and its components may have therapeutic potential for AD patients and possibly other forms of brain diseases. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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