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Exp Neurol. 2000 Nov;166(1):136-52.

Postinjury administration of L-deprenyl improves cognitive function and enhances neuroplasticity after traumatic brain injury.

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Department of Anatomy, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0709, USA.


The rat model of combined central fluid percussion traumatic brain injury (TBI) and bilateral entorhinal cortical lesion (BEC) produces profound, persistent cognitive deficits, sequelae associated with human TBI. In contrast to percussive TBI alone, this combined injury induces maladaptive hippocampal plasticity. Recent reports suggest a potential role for dopamine in CNS plasticity after trauma. We have examined the effect of the dopamine enhancer l-deprenyl on cognitive function and neuroplasticity following TBI. Rats received fluid percussion TBI, BEC alone, or combined TBI + BEC lesion and were treated once daily for 7 days with l-deprenyl, beginning 24 h after TBI alone and 15 min after BEC or TBI + BEC. Postinjury motor assessment showed no effect of l-deprenyl treatment. Cognitive performance was assessed on days 11-15 postinjury and brains from the same cases examined for dopamine beta-hydroxylase immunoreactivity (DBH-IR) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) histochemistry. Significant cognitive improvement relative to untreated injured cases was observed in both TBI groups following l-deprenyl treatment; however, no drug effects were seen with BEC alone. l-Deprenyl attenuated injury-induced loss in DBH-IR over CA1 and CA3 after TBI alone. However, after combined TBI + BEC, l-deprenyl was only effective in protecting CA1 DBH-IR. AChE histostaining in CA3 was significantly elevated with l-deprenyl in both injury models. After TBI + BEC, l-deprenyl also increased AChE in the dentate molecular layer relative to untreated injured cases. These results suggest that dopaminergic/noradrenergic enhancement facilitates cognitive recovery after brain injury and that noradrenergic fiber integrity is correlated with enhanced synaptic plasticity in the injured hippocampus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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