Licochalcone A improves the cognitive ability of mice by regulating T- and B-cell proliferation

Licochalcone A improves the cognitive ability of mice by regulating T- and B-cell proliferation

Abstract

Licochalcone A (LA), a flavonoid found in licorice, has anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. Here, we explored the effect of injecting LA into the tail vein of middle-aged C57BL/6 mice on their cognitive ability as measured by the Morris water maze (MWM) test and cerebral blood flow (CBF). The related mechanisms were assessed via RNA-seq, and T (CD3e+) and B (CD45R/B220+) cells in the spleen and whole blood were quantified via flow cytometry. LA improved the cognitive ability, according to the MWM test results, and upregulated the CBF level of treated mice. The RNA-seq results indicate that LA affected the interleukin (IL)-17 signaling pathway, which is related to T- and B-cell proliferation, and the flow cytometry data suggest that LA promoted T- and B-cell proliferation in the spleen and whole blood. We also performed immune reconstruction via a tail vein injection of lymphocytes into B-NDG (NOD-PrkdcscidIl2rgtm1/Bcge) mice before treating them with LA. We tested cognitive ability by subjecting these animals to new object recognition tests and quantified the splenic and whole blood T and B cells. Cognitive ability improved after immune reconstruction and LA treatment, and LA promoted T- and B-cell proliferation in the spleen and whole blood. This study demonstrates that LA, by activating the IL-17 signaling pathway, promotes T- and B-cell proliferation in the spleen and whole blood of mice and improves cognitive ability. Thus, LA may have immune-modulating therapeutic potential for improving cognition.

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