Acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity and neuroprotection: In vitro, molecular docking, and improved learning and memory functions of demethylcurcumin in scopolamine-induced amnesia ICR mice

Yuh Hwa Liu, Chia Jung Lee, Liang Chieh Chen, Tai Lin Lee, Ying Ying Hsieh, Chuan Hsiao Han, Chang Hang Yang, Wei Jan Huang, Wen Chi Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this study, demethylcurcumin (DC), a minor constituent in curcuminoids, showed better anti-acetylcholinesterase (anti-AChE) activities, anti-amyloid β peptide aggregation, neuroprotective activities in 6-hydroxydopamine-treated SH-SY5Y cell models, and anti-nitric oxide production in lipopolysaccharide-treated RAW 264.7 macrophages than those of curcumin. Based on molecular docking analyses with AChE, the meta-hydroxyl group in DC, nonexistent in curcumin, showed the formation of hydrogen bonds with Ser293 and Tyr341 in the binding sites of AChE. For animal experiments, scopolamine-induced amnesia ICR mice were used to analyze the learning and memory functions of DC in comparison with the positive control donepezil. Mice fed with DC (50 mg kg-1) or donepezil (5 mg kg-1) showed improvement and a significant difference compared to those in the control group (P < 0.05, 0.01, or 0.001) in a passive avoidance test and in a water maze probe test. The brain extracts of the mice in the DC or donepezil group showed reduced AChE activities and higher ORAC activities and also showed a significant difference compared to those in the control group (P < 0.05, 0.01, or 0.001). DC might be beneficial for developing functional foods or as a lead compound for the treatment of degenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2328-2338
Number of pages11
JournalFood and Function
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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