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The effect of calcineurin activator, extracted from Chinese herbal medicine, on memory and immunity in mice.

Calcineurin (CN) is a highly abundant phosphatase in the brain and it is the only Ca(2+)- and calmodulin-dependent protein serine/threonine phosphatase. There is considerable evidence to suggest that CN plays an essential role in activity-dependent modulation of synaptic efficacy. It has been shown recently that inhibitors of CN, such as CsA or FK506, impair memory formation in day-old chicks. In our present study, extract of Fructus cannabis (EFC) with activation of CN, extracted from Chinese traditional medicine, was used to determine the effects on memory and immunity. In the step-down-type passive avoidance test, the plant extract (0.2 g/kg) significantly improved amnesia induced by chemical drugs in mice, and greatly enhanced the ability of cell-mediated type hypersensitivity and nonspecific immune responses in normal mice. The present study provided pharmacological evidence for Chinese herbal medicine screening from molecular model.[1]

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