Bergapten Improves Scopolamine-Induced Memory Impairment in Mice via Cholinergic and Antioxidative Mechanisms

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Bergapten is a furanocoumarin naturally occurring in the Apiaceae family and it is a well-known photosensitizing agent used in photochemotherapy. In this study, we investigated the influence of bergapten on cognitive function and mechanism underlying these effects in scopolamine-induced memory impairment in male Swiss mice. The passive avoidance test was used to evaluate the efficiency of memory acquisition and consolidation. The results demonstrated that both single and repeated administration of bergapten improved not only the acquisition but also consolidation of memory. The behavioral tests showed that bergapten prevented memory impairment induced by administration of scopolamine. Observed effects may result from the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Also, bergapten caused significant anti-oxidative effects. These new findings provide pharmacological and biochemical support for the development of the coumarin’s potential in cognitive deficits.

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