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PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21660. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021660. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

Amitriptyline-mediated cognitive enhancement in aged 3×Tg Alzheimer's disease mice is associated with neurogenesis and neurotrophic activity.

Author information

  • 1Receptor Pharmacology Unit, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.

Abstract

Approximately 35 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD). Existing therapeutics, while moderately effective, are currently unable to stem the widespread rise in AD prevalence. AD is associated with an increase in amyloid beta (Aβ) oligomers and hyperphosphorylated tau, along with cognitive impairment and neurodegeneration. Several antidepressants have shown promise in improving cognition and alleviating oxidative stress in AD but have failed as long-term therapeutics. In this study, amitriptyline, an FDA-approved tricyclic antidepressant, was administered orally to aged and cognitively impaired transgenic AD mice (3×TgAD). After amitriptyline treatment, cognitive behavior testing demonstrated that there was a significant improvement in both long- and short-term memory retention. Amitriptyline treatment also caused a significant potentiation of non-toxic Aβ monomer with a concomitant decrease in cytotoxic dimer Aβ load, compared to vehicle-treated 3×TgAD controls. In addition, amitriptyline administration caused a significant increase in dentate gyrus neurogenesis as well as increases in expression of neurosynaptic marker proteins. Amitriptyline treatment resulted in increases in hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein as well as increased tyrosine phosphorylation of its cognate receptor (TrkB). These results indicate that amitriptyline has significant beneficial actions in aged and damaged AD brains and that it shows promise as a tolerable novel therapeutic for the treatment of AD.

PMID:
21738757
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3124550
Free PMC Article

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