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Triptolide preserves cognitive function and reduces neuropathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease


Year of Publication:
Contact PI Name:
Ling Li
Contact PI Affiliation:
Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Shaowu Cheng, Kyle J. LeBlanc
Primary Reference (PubMED ID):
Funding Source:
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Study Goal and Principal Findings:

The overarching goal of this study was to investigate the effects of triptolide, a lipophilic extract and the major active compound isolated from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook, on AD-like behavior and neuropathology in APPswe/PS1deltaE9 (APP/PS1) mice. Triptolide is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb that has been used to treat inflammatory diseases for centuries. The results demonstrate that triptolide treatment rescued spatial memory deficits, reduced Abeta deposition, and attenuated neuroinflammation in this mouse model of AD.  The data indicate tha6t triptolide treatment did not significantly affect the production pathway of Aβ in vivo.  Analyses revealed that triptolide treatment upregulated the level of insulin-degrading enzyme, a major Aβ-degrading enzyme in the brain, indicating that triptolide treatment reduced Aβ pathology by enhancing the proteolytic degradation of Aβ. These findings suggest that triptolide treatment ameliorates key behavioral and neuropathological changes found in AD, suggesting that triptolide may serve as a potential therapeutic agent for AD.

Therapeutic Agent

Therapeutic Information:
Therapy Type:
Natural Product
Therapeutic Agent:
Therapeutic Target:
Multi Target

Animal Model

Model Information:
Model Type:
Strain/Genetic Background:
(C57BL/6 x C3H)F2

Experimental Design

Is the following information reported in the study?:
Power/Sample Size Calculation
Randomized into Groups
Blinded for Treatment
Blinded for Outcome Measures
Pharmacokinetic Measures
Pharmacodynamic Measures
Toxicology Measures
ADME Measures
Route of Delivery
Duration of Treatment
Frequency of Administration
Age of Animal at the Beginning of Treatment
Age of Animal at the End of Treatment
Sex as a Biological Variable
Study Balanced for Sex as a Biological Variable
Number of Premature Deaths
Number of Excluded Animals
Statistical Plan
Genetic Background
Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria Included
Conflict of Interest


Outcome Measured
Outcome Parameters
Open Field Test
Morris Water Maze
Elevated Plus Maze
Activated Microglia
beta Amyloid Load
Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP)
Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) Metabolites
Insulin Degrading Enzyme (IDE)
Proinflammatory Markers
Brain-beta Amyloid Peptide 40
Brain-beta Amyloid Peptide 42
Body Weight