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Histochem J. 2001 Nov-Dec;33(11-12):605-12.

Increased density of glutamate receptor subunit 1 due to Cerebrolysin treatment: an immunohistochemical study on aged rats.

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Institute of Experimental Pharmacology, JSW-Research, Graz, Austria.


Glutamate receptor subunit 1 (GluR1) is one of the four possible subunits of the AMPA-type glutamate receptor. The integrity of this receptor is crucial for learning processes. However, reductions of GluR1 are noticeable in the hippocampal formation of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Such degradations presumably result in an impaired synaptic communication and might be causally linked to the neurodegenerative process in this cognitive disorder. The peptidergic drug Cerebrolysin counteracts cognitive deficits of patients affected by Alzheimer's disease. These findings are supported by experiments revealing neuroprotective and neurotrophic capacities of the drug. In order to examine the effect of the drug on the density of GluR1 in hippocampal formation 24-month-old rats were treated with either Cerebrolysin or its peptide fraction E021, or saline as a control. Spatial navigation of the animals was tested in the Morris water maze. Rat brain slices were stained immunohistochemically with a GluR1-specific antibody. GluR1 immunoreactivity was quantified using light microscopy and a computerised image analysis system. Cerebrolysin and E021 increased GluR1 density in most measured regions of the hippocampal formation in a highly significant way. These results correlate with the behavioural outcome, revealing an improvement in learning and memory of these rats after treatment with Cerebrolysin and E021.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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