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Genistein improves spatial learning and memory in male rats with elevated glucose level during memory consolidation.

Physiology & behavior (2014-12-08)
Yumi Kohara, Shinichiro Kawaguchi, Rika Kuwahara, Yutaro Uchida, Yushi Oku, Kimihiro Yamashita
ABSTRACT

Cognitive dysfunction due to higher blood glucose level has been reported previously. Genistein (GEN) is a phytoestrogen that we hypothesized might lead to improved memory, despite elevated blood glucose levels at the time of memory consolidation. To investigate this hypothesis, we compared the effects of orally administered GEN on the central nervous system in normal versus glucose-loaded adult male rats. A battery of behavioral assessments was carried out. In the MAZE test, which measured spatial learning and memory, the time of normal rats was shortened by GEN treatment compared to the vehicle group, but only in the early stages of testing. In the glucose-loaded group, GEN treatment improved performance as mazes were advanced. In the open-field test, GEN treatment delayed habituation to the new environment in normal rats, and increased the exploratory behaviors of glucose-loaded rats. There were no significant differences observed for emotionality or fear-motivated learning and memory. Together, these results indicate that GEN treatment improved spatial learning and memory only in the early stages of testing in the normal state, but improved spatial learning and memory when glucose levels increased during memory consolidation.

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