Royal jelly (RJ) is known to have a variety of biological activities toward various types of cells and tissues of animal models, but nothing is known about its effect on brain functions. Hence, we examined the effect of oral administration of RJ on the mRNA expression of various neurotrophic factors, their receptors, and neural cell markers in the mouse brain. Our results revealed that RJ selectively facilitates the mRNA expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a potent neurotrophic factor acting in the brain, and neurofilament H, a specific marker predominantly found in neuronal axons, in the adult mouse hippocampus. These observations suggest that RJ shows neurotrophic effects on the mature brain via stimulation of GDNF production, and that enhanced expression of neurofilament H mRNA is involved in events subsequently caused by GDNF. RJ may play neurotrophic and/or neuroprotective roles in the adult brain through GDNF.
2005 by Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry