The effects of Anethum graveolens essence on scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice

Azadeh Mesripour, Mahmoud Rafieian-Kopaei, Bahareh Bahrami


Since Anethum graveolens (Dill) has phytoestrogenic compounds and it is proven that estrogens exert beneficial effects on cognition; the aim of this study was to understand if this plant can improve memory performance. Male Balb/c mice weighing 25-30 g were used in this study and memory was assessed by the novel object recognition task. In this method, the difference in the exploration time between a familiar object and a novel object is taken as an index of memory performance (recognition index, RI). Scopolamine significantly reduced memory index (RI = -15.5% ± 3.0). Dill essence (100 mg/kg, ip) prevented the harmful effects of scopolamine on memory (RI = 40% ± 5.5), thus RI did not differ with control animals (RI = 50% ± 5.8). In addition, 17-β estradiol also prevented memory impairment in animals (0.2 mg/kg, ip; RI = 35.8% ± 6.5). Nevertheless, the beneficial effects of dill essence were antagonized by prior injection of tamoxifen     (1 mg/kg, ip; RI = -30% ± 7.8). Although phytoesrogens are not steroids, the beneficial effect of dill on memory, at least in part, may have been achieved by estrogenic receptors present in the brain. Thus dill essence could be promising in improving memory and cognition, mainly in postmenopausal women.

Full Text:



Mesripour A, hajhashemi V, Rabbani M. Metyrapone and mifepristone reverse recognition memory loss induced by spontaneous morphine withdrawal in mice. Basic Clin Pharmaco Toxicol. 2008;102:377-381.

Mesripour A, hajhashemi V, Rabbani M. The effects of spironolactone on morphine withdrawal induced memory loss by the object recognition task method in mice. Res Pharm Sci. 2007;2:77-84.

Yaffe K, Lui LY, Grady D, Cauley J, Kramer J, Cummings SR. Cognitive decline in women in relation to non-protein-bound oestradiol concentrations. Lancet. 2000;356:708-712.

Yaffe K, Lui LY, Zmuda J, Cauley J. Sex hormones and cognitive function in older men. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002;50:707-712.

Sherwin BB. Estrogen and cognitive aging in women. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2002;23:527-534.

Luine VN, Richards ST, Wu VY, Beck KD. Estradiol enhances learning and memory in a spatial memory task and effects levels of monoaminergic neurotransmitters. Horm Behav. 1998;34:149-162.

Sandstrom NJ, Williams CL. Memory retention is modulated by acute estradiol and progesterone replacement. Behav Neurosci. 2001;115:384-393.

Weiser MJ, Foradori CD, Handa RJ. Estrogen receptor beta in the brain: from form to function. Brain Res Rev. 2008;57:309-320.

Kuiper GG, Carlsson B, Grandien K, Enmark E, Häggblad J, Nilsson S, et al. Comparison of the ligand binding specificity and transcript tissue distribution of estrogen reseptors α and β. Endocrinology. 1997;138:863-870.

Ortan A, Popescu ML, Gaita AL, Dinu-Pirvu C, Campeanu GH. Contributions to the pharmacognostical study on Anethum graveolens, Dill (Apiaceae). Rom Biotech Letters. 2009;014:4342-4348.

Heamalatha S, Swarnalatha S, Divya M, Gandhi Lakshmi R, Ganga Devi A, Gomathi E. Pharmacognostical, pharmacological, investigation on Anethum Graveolens Linn: a review. Res J Pharm Biol Chem Sci. 2011;2:564-575.

Trease GE, Evans WC. Pharmacognosy. 15th ed. London: Saunders Publishers; 2002. p. 42–44.

Cos P, De Bruyne T, Apers S, Vanden Berghe D, Pieters L, Vlietinck AJ. Phytoestrogens: recent developments. Planta Med. 2003;69:589-599.

Mesripour A, Alibabaei Z, Emadi A, Hojjati MR. Evaluating the effect of Foeniculum vulgar on scopolamin-induced memory impairment in male mice. Journal of Isfahan Medical School. 2015;33: 294-304.

Monsefi M, Ghasemi A, Alaee S, Aliabadi E. Effects of Anethum graveolens L. (dill) on oocyte and fertility of adult female rats. J Reprod Infertil. 2015;16:10-17.

Ennaceur A, Delacour J. A new one-trial test for neurobiological studies of memory in rats. Behavioral data. Behav Brain Res. 1988;31:47-59.

Bertaina-Anglade V, Enjuanes E, Morillon D, Drieu la Rochelle C. The object recognition task in rats and mice: a simple and rapid model in safety pharmacology to detect amnesic properties of a new chemical entity. J Pharmacol Toxicol Meth. 2006;54:99-105.

Dodart JC, Mathis C, Ungerer A. Scopolamine-induced deficits in a two-trial object recognition task in mice. Neuroreport. 1997;8:1173-1178.

Simpson ER. Aromatase: biologic relevance of tissue-specific expression. Semin Reprod Med. 2004;22:11–23.

Mitra SW, Hoskin E, Yudkovitz J, Pear L, Wilkinson HA, Hayashi S, et al. Immunolocalization of estrogen receptor beta in the mouse brain: comparison with estrogen receptor alpha. Endocrinology. 2003;144:2055–2067.

Janicki SC, Schupf N. Hormonal influences on cognition and risk for alzheimer disease. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2010;10:359–366.

Davis DM, Jacobson TK, Aliakbari S, Mizumori SJ. Differential effects of estrogen on hippocampal- and striatal-dependent learning. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2005;84:132-137.

Nobakht M, Shafiee M, Tabatabaee P, Rastegar T. Assessment of tamoxifen effects on nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in rat's developing hippocampus. J Razi Med Sci. 2008;15:181-190.

Eberling JL, Wu C, Tong-Turnbeaugh R, Jagust WJ. Estrogen- and tamoxifen-associated effects on brain structure and function. Neuroimage 2004;21:364-371.

Pilgrim C, Hutchison JB. Developmental regulation of sex differences in the brain: can the role of gonadal steroids be redefined? Neuroscience. 1994;60:843-855.

Woolley CS, McEwen BS. Estradiol mediates fluctuation in hippocampal synapse density during the estrous cycle in the adult rat. J Neurosci. 1992;12:2549-2554.

Weiland NG, Orikasa C, Hayashi S, McEwen BS. Distribution and hormone regulation of estrogen receptor immunoreactive cells in the hippocampus of male and female rats. J Comp Neurol. 1997;388:603–612.

Shughrue PJ, Merchenthaler I. Distribution of estrogen receptor β immunoreactivity in the rat central nervous system. J Comp Neurol. 2001;436:64-81.

Pourabbas S, kesmati M, Rasekh A. Study of the the anxiolytic effects of fennel and possible roles of both gabaergic system and estrogen receptors in these effects in adult female rat. Physiol Pharmacol. 2011;15:134-143.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.