Hui Yang, Shi-Rong Wen, Guo-Wei Zhang, Tie-Gang Wang, Feng-Xin Hu, Xu-Ling Li, and De-Sheng Wang
Fuzhisan (FZS), a Chinese herbal complex prescription, has been used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) for more than 16 years. However the underlying mechanism remains to be explored. The effects of the aqueous extract of FZS on the cognitive functions of the aged mice and the pharmacological basis for its therapeutic efficacy were investigated. The results showed that FZS improved impaired cognitive ability of aged SAMP-8 mice. FZS (2.4, 4.8 g/kg/d) increased hippocampal neurogenesis and the long-term survival of BrdU-labeled cells without affecting the proportion of BrdU-positive neurons and glial cells. FZS also increased the number of BrdU-positive cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricles of 8-month-old SAMP-8 mice. These studies suggest that FZS upregulates neurogenesis by increasing proliferation of neural progenitor cells and prolonging survival of the newborn cells in the hippocampal DG. FZS may be beneficial for the treatment of senile dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease.