†These authors contributed equally.
We investigated the effects of velvet antler polypeptide on cognitive impairment and the underlying mechanisms. Hydrogen peroxide-induced cell injury was used to establish an in vitro model of SH-SY5Y cells. In addition, we established an in vivo mouse model of cognitive impairment using intraperitoneal injections of scopolamine hydrobromide in strain mice. We administered three different doses of velvet antler polypeptide in this mouse model and assessed the influence of velvet antler polypeptide on the morphology of hippocampal neurons, hippocampal neuronal apoptosis, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and corticosterone activities in brain tissue samples, and the molecular and biochemical regulation of B-cell lymphoma-2, B-cell lymphoma-2 Associated X-protein, Cysteine-aspartic acid protease-3, glucocorticoid receptor, mineralocorticoid receptor, and corticotropin-releasing hormone in murine hippocampal neurons. Our data suggest that velvet antler polypeptide decreases glucocorticoid receptor, mineralocorticoid receptor, and corticotropin-releasing hormone levels and regulates the hormones released by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, thus suppressing neuronal apoptosis.