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Centella asiatica has been recognized as one of the plants that can be used to surge cognitive function in animals and humans. Currently, several compounds isolated from C. asiatica have been proven to enhance cognitive function via learning and memory properties. The present study investigated the acute effects of administration of triterpene compounds isolated from C. asiatica on memory and learning in male Spraque-Dawley rats via Morris water maze and their influences on motor activity in locomotor performance. The five-week old Spraque-Dawley rats were intraperitoneally administered with 10 mg/kg concentration of triterpene compounds; asiatic acid, madecassic acid, madecassoside and the control groups with scopolamine and saline. The rats were then evaluated via Morris water maze tasks and locomotor activity. The administration of 10 mg/kg of asiatic acid resulted in significantly improved memory (p<0.5) with increased escaped latency compared to saline and scopolamine. Furthermore, the administration of 10 mg/kg of madecassic acid and madecassoside significantly induced higher escape latency compared to scopolamine (p<0.5) but there was no significant difference compared to saline (p<0.5). For spontaneous locomotor activity, the three triterpene compounds showed no effect on locomotor activity as compared to saline group. However, the triterpene compounds had significant effect on locomotor activity as compared to scopolamine group (p<0.5). The administration of acute asiatic acid facilitated escaped latency which can be translated as having the properties of enhancement on memory and learning. Hence, it may serve to be useful on improving memory and learning with no sedative effect on the locomotor performance.
Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid, Madecassoside, Morris Water Maze, Locomotor Activity