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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2005 Feb;112(2):255-68. Epub 2004 Sep 14.

Effect of memantine on the alpha 7 neuronal nicotinic receptors, synaptophysin- and low molecular weight MAP-2 levels in the brain of transgenic mice over-expressing human acetylcholinesterase.

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Karolinska Institutet, Neurotec Department, Division of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Transgenic mice over-expressing human acetylcholinesterase (hAChE-Tg) display memory impairments, cholinergic deficits and reduced dendritic branching. In this study, we found a reduced number of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) binding sites and reduced levels of low molecular weight (LMW) microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP-2), in addition to an increased number of alpha4 and alpha7 nicotinic receptor (nAChR) binding sites in the brain of hAChE-Tg mice. Treatment with memantine, 20 mg/kg/day during 14 days, significantly increased the number of [(125)I]alphabungarotoxin (alpha7 nAChR) binding sites in the frontal- and retrosplenial cortex of hAChE-Tg mice and synaptophysin- and LMW MAP-2 levels in the cortex of both hAChE-Tg and FVB/N controls. The findings reveal an alteration of the glutamatergic system in hAChE-Tg mice. Whether the effect of memantine on alpha7 nAChRs, synaptophysin- and LMW MAP-2 levels is a direct effect, or an indirect effect via the NMDA receptors, has to be further evaluated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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