J Med Food. 2013 Apr;16(4):280-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.2486. Epub 2013 Mar 20.

Effect of kai xin san on learning and memory in a rat model of paradoxical sleep deprivation.

Hu Y1, Liu M, Liu P, Yan JJ, Liu MY, Zhang GQ, Zhou XJ, Yu BY.

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1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.


The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of kai xin san (KXS, at doses of 500, 250, and 125 mg/kg body weight per day), a well-known traditional Chinese medicine, on learning and memory in paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD)-induced cognition deficit rats. Two behavior tests (the Open Field test and the Morris water maze task) were used for testing the effects of KXS on a PSD-induced learning and memory deficit model. Furthermore, its effect on the glutamic acid (GLU) and γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain tissue, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB), and phosphorylated-CREB (p-CREB) expression in the hippocampus was also tested. KXS exerted the greatest cognition against the 48 h PSD-induced cognitive deficit and these effects may be mediated by decreasing the GLU and GABA levels and increasing the levels of BDNF, CREB, and p-CREB. This study indicates that the effect of KXS on learning and memory in a rat model of PSD could be associated with the modulation of neurotransmitter levels and the expression of some genes in the brain that contribute to memory functions.