Linalool Ameliorates Memory Loss and Behavioral Impairment Induced by REM-Sleep Deprivation through the Serotonergic Pathway.

Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2018 Jul 1;26(4):368-373. doi: 10.4062/biomolther.2018.081.

Author Information: Lee BK1, Jung AN1, Jung YS1,2. 1 College of Pharmacy, Ajou University, Suwon 16499, Republic of Korea. 2 Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology, Ajou University, Suwon 16499, Republic of Korea.

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep has an essential role in the process of learning and memory in the hippocampus. It has been reported that linalool, a major component of Lavandula angustifolia, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects, along with other effects. However, the effect of linalool on the cognitive impairment and behavioral alterations that are induced by REM-sleep deprivation has not yet been elucidated. Several studies have reported that REM-sleep deprivation-induced memory deficits provide a well-known model of behavioral alterations. 

In the present study, we examined whether linalool elicited an anti-stress effect, reversing the behavioral alterations observed following REM-sleep deprivation in mice. Furthermore, we investigated the underlying mechanism of the effect of linalool. Spatial memory and learning memory were assessed through Y maze and passive avoidance tests, respectively, and the forced swimming test was used to evaluate anti-stress activity. The mechanisms through which linalool improves memory loss and behavioral alterations in sleep-deprived mice appeared to be through an increase in the serotonin levels. 

Linalool significantly ameliorated the spatial and learning memory deficits, and stress activity observed in sleep-deprived animals. Moreover, linalool led to serotonin release, and cortisol level reduction. Our findings suggest that linalool has beneficial effects on the memory loss and behavioral alterations induced by REM-sleep deprivation through the regulation of serotonin levels.

PMID: 29915164 PMCID: PMC6029680 DOI: 10.4062/biomolther.2018.081