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Exp Neurol. 2006 Jun;199(2):265-73. Epub 2006 Mar 3.

Rosiglitazone attenuates learning and memory deficits in Tg2576 Alzheimer mice.

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Department of Pathology, Creighton University Medical Center, 601 N. 30th Street, Suite 2469, Omaha, NE 68131, USA.


The thiazolidinediones, such as rosiglitazone, increase peripheral insulin sensitivity and their use is proposed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. However, the mechanisms underlying the potential beneficial effects of rosiglitazone in Alzheimer's disease remain unclear. In previous studies, we observed that Tg2576 Alzheimer mice develop peripheral insulin resistance with age and have much higher serum corticosterone levels than wild-type mice when fasted overnight. We further showed that both of these defects can be ameliorated by rosiglitazone administration. Here, we report that during behavioral testing which involves repetitive overnight fasting, Tg2576 mice administered rosiglitazone exhibited better spatial learning and memory abilities and had lower serum corticosterone levels than untreated Tg2576 mice. When untreated Tg2576 mice were administered metyrapone, a drug that blocks glucocorticoid production, their spatial learning and memory abilities and serum corticosterone levels were similar to those of rosiglitazone-treated mice. We further report here that rosiglitazone attenuated reductions in insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) mRNA and activity, and reduced amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta)42 levels without affecting amyloid deposition, in the brains of Tg2576 mice. These results demonstrate that rosiglitazone attenuates learning and memory deficits in Tg2576 mice and suggest that the effects of the drug on learning and memory, brain IDE levels, and brain Abeta42 levels in the mice may be due to its glucocorticoid-lowering actions.

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