Aim: It has been reported that glial cells are involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). According to our previous
research, Scutellaria barbata flavonoids (SBFs) can protect the neuronal disorder and memory impairment for AD-like rats,
while the effect of SBFs on the glial cells disorder in AD-like rats has been less well studied. The effects of SBFs on
astrocytes(ASs), microglial cells (MGs) and oligodendrocytes (Ols), as well as heat shock proteins 70 (Hsp70) and
apolipoprotein E (ApoE) were investigated in the present study.
Methods: The successful model rats, screened by Morris water maze, were daily orally administrated with 35, 70 and 140
mg/kg SBFs for 36 d. The numbers of brain’s astrocytes (ASs), microglial cells (MGs) and oligodendrocytes (Ols) were
examined by immunohistochemistry. The cortical glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), leukocyte common antigen (LCA)
(CD45), Claudin 11 and heat shock proteins 70 (Hsp70) protein expression were assayed by Western blotting, and
apolipoprotein E (ApoE) mRNA expression was analyzed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).
Results: Compared with the sham-operated group, the numbers of ASs and MGs in the brain were significantly increased in
the model group (P<0.05, P<0.01), and accompanied with increases of GFAP, CD45 and Hsp70 protein and ApoE mRNA
expression (P<0.05, P<0.01). Both Ols number and Claudin 11 protein expression decreased in the brain in the model group
(P<0.05, P<0.01). However, the above abnormal changes induced by composited Aβ were differently reversed by treatment
of SBFs at three doses of 35, 70 and 140 mg/kg (P<0.05, P<0.01).
Conclusions: SBFs can dramatically improve the abnormal changes of glial cells in rats’ brain induced by composited Aβ,
which may be a helpful treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.