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Abstract: Cholinergic dysfunction is implicated in the pathogenesis of memory impairment related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Accordingly, regulation of M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (M1 mAChR) has been one of the major targets in the development of novel drugs for AD. Utilizing an in vitrosystem for evaluation of the M1 mAChR, we have recently identified that extracts from Cordyceps sinensis (CS) promote M1 mAChR function. In this study, we examined the effect of pretreatment with several types of CS extracts in F11 neurohybrid cells on ERK phosphorylation induced by a muscarinic agonist, carbachol (CCh). A mixed extract of a hot water extract and an ethanol extract from CS augmented ERK phosphorylation by CCh presumably through upregulation of M1 mAChR function. We further examined the effect of oral administration of CS extracts on memory impairment induced by a muscarinic antagonist scopolamine in mice, finding that CS extracts ameliorated scopolamine-induced amnesia in vivo, consistent with the in vitro data. Thus CS extracts may contribute to the prevention of memory impairment related to AD.
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