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Original Article

Exp Neurobiol 2018; 27(6): 564-573

Published online December 12, 2018

© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences

Siegesbeckia Orientalis L. Extract Attenuates Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction, Systemic Inflammation, and Neuroinflammation

John Man Tak Chu2,†, Wei Xiong1,2,†, Ke Gang Linghu1, Yan Liu2, Yan Zhang2, Guan Ding Zhao1, Michael G. Irwin2, Gordon Tin Chun Wong2*, and Hua Yu1,3,4*

1Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, University of Macau, Macao SAR 999078, China.

2Department of Anaesthesiology, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam 999077, Hong Kong, China.

3HKBU Shenzhen Research Center, Shenzhen 518000, Guangdong, China.

4School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong 999077, Hong Kong, China.

Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Hua Yu, TEL: 853-8822 8540, FAX: 853-28841358
Gordon Tin Chun Wong, TEL: 852-22554527, FAX: 852-28551654
These authors share equal contributions in this manuscript.

Received: September 11, 2018; Revised: November 27, 2018; Accepted: December 3, 2018

A proportion of patients experience acute or even prolonged cognitive impairment after surgery, a condition known as postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD). It is characterized by impairment in different cognitive domains and neuroinflammation has been implicated as one of the inciting factors as strategies targeting inflammation tend to improve cognitive performance. Siegesbeckia Orientails L. (S. Orientails) is a common Chinese medicinal herb used for managing chronic inflammatory diseases. We investigated if pretreatment with S. Orientails before surgery confers any neuroprotective effects in postoperative animals in terms of reducing inflammation and mitigating cognitive impairment. Three-month-old male C57BL/6N mice were fed different doses of S. Orientails extract for 14 days before they underwent a laparotomy. After cognitive testing they were sacrificed on postoperative day (POD) 3. Our results showed that animals with extract pretreatment demonstrated memory improvement in a dose-dependent manner compared with control. Further, evidence for the attenuation of systemic and neuroinflammation was found in the pretreated animals, along with the inhibition of inflammatory pathways and significantly reduced tau phosphorylation in the hippocampus. Taken together, these results demonstrated a neuroprotective effect of S. Orientails in postoperative animals, indicating a therapeutic potential of S. Orientails in minimizing POCD and the possibility of utilizing this traditional Chinese medicine perioperatively.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords: Surgery, Cognitive dysfunction, inflammation, Tau