Moringa Oleifera Alleviates Homocysteine-Induced Alzheimer's Disease-Like Pathology and Cognitive Impairments

Yacoubou Abdoul Razak Mahaman, Fang Huang, Mengjuan Wu, Yuman Wang, Zhen Wei, Jian Bao, Maibouge Tanko Mahamane Salissou, Dan Ke, Qun Wang, Rong Liu, Jian Zhi Wang, Bin Zhang, Dan Chen, Xiaochuan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is multifactorial with unclear etiopathology. Due to the complexity of AD, many attempted single therapy treatments, like Aβ immunization, have generally failed. Therefore, there is a need for drugs with multiple benefits. Naturally occurring phytochemicals with neuroprotective, anti-amyloidogenic, antioxidative, and anti-inflammatory properties could be a possible way out. In this study, the effect of Moringa oleifera (MO), a naturally occurring plant with high antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects, was evaluated on hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) induced AD-like pathology in rats. Homocysteine (Hcy) injection for 14 days was used to induce AD-like pathology. Simultaneous MO extract gavage followed the injection as a preventive treatment or, after injection completion, MO gavage was performed for another 14 days as a curative treatment. MO was found to not only prevent but also rescue the oxidative stress and cognitive impairments induced by Hcy treatment. Moreover, MO recovered the decreased synaptic proteins PSD93, PSD95, Synapsin 1 and Synaptophysin, and improved neurodegeneration. Interestingly, MO decreased the Hyc-induced tau hyperphosphorylation at different sites including S-199, T-231, S-396, and S-404, and at the same time decreased Aβ production through downregulation of BACE1. These effects in HHcy rats were accompanied by a decrease in calpain activity under MO treatment, supporting that calpain activation might be involved in AD pathogenesis in HHcy rats. Taken together, our data, for the first time, provided evidence that MO alleviates tau hyperphosphorylation and Aβ pathology in a HHcy AD rat model. This and previous other studies support MO as a good candidate for, and could provide new insights into, the treatment of AD and other tauopathies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1141-1159
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • BACE1
  • Moringa oleifera (MO)
  • amyloid-β
  • calpain
  • homocysteine
  • tau


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