Heliyon, Volume 6, February 2020,
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive decline in cognitive function. Intracerebroventricular injection of streptozotocin (icv-STZ) has been used as an experimental model of Sporadic AD (SAD) in rodents and represents a promising tool for etiopathogenic analysis and evaluation of new therapeutic proposals for AD. The icv-STZ model shows many aspects of SAD abnormalities, resulting in decreased brain glucose and energy metabolism, cognitive impairment, oxidative stress, neuronal loss, and amyloid angiopathy. Royal jelly (RJ), a substance produced by worker honeybees of the Apis mellifera species, has been popularly used for more than 30 years in areas related to health eating and natural medicine. Researches indicate that RJ has a several pharmacological activities, including neuroprotective and improvement of cognitive function. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of oral treatment with royal jelly during 2 weeks in Wistar rats submitted to icv-STZ on a working memory and neuroprotection, as evaluated by neurogenesis, neurodegeneration and oxidative stress. In this study, icv-STZ injection induced deleterious effects in the hippocampus, associated with cognitive impairments, and developed marked neurodegeneration, besides the reduction of neurogenesis and increased oxidative stress. On the other hand, RJ long-term oral administration induced beneficial effects in animals injured by icv-STZ injection, increasing retention time for working spatial memory, reducing neurodegeneration and oxidative stress level and increasing the proliferation of new neurons in the hippocampus. Thus, RJ promotes beneficial effects on cognitive functions and exhibits a neuroprotective action in the STZ experimental model of SAD.