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Neurochem Int. 2008 Sep;53(3-4):89-94. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2008.06.006. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

Caffeine improves adult mice performance in the object recognition task and increases BDNF and TrkB independent on phospho-CREB immunocontent in the hippocampus.

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Department of Biochemistry, Laboratory of Studies on the Purinergic System, Graduation Program in Biological Sciences/Biochemistry, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Health and Basic Sciences Institute, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


Caffeine is one of the most psychostimulants consumed all over the world that usually presents positive effects on cognition. In this study, effects of caffeine on mice performance in the object recognition task were tested in different intertrial intervals. In addition, it was analyzed the effects of caffeine on brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor, TrkB, immunocontent to try to establish a connection between the behavioral finding and BDNF, one of the neurotrophins strictly involved in memory and learning process. CF1 mice were treated during 4 consecutive days with saline (0.9g%, i.p.) or caffeine (10mg/kg, i.p., equivalent dose corresponding to 2-3 cups of coffee). Caffeine treatment was interrupted 24h before the object recognition task analysis. In the test session performed 15min after training session, caffeine-treated mice recognized more efficiently both the familiar and the novel object. In the test session performed 90min and 24h after training session, caffeine did not change the time spent in the familiar object but increased the object recognition index, when compared to control group. Western blotting analysis of hippocampus from caffeine-treated mice revealed an increase in BDNF and TrkB immunocontent, compared to their saline-matched controls. Phospho-CREB immunocontent did not change with caffeine treatment. Our results suggest that acute treatment with caffeine improves recognition memory, and this effect may be related to an increase of the BDNF and TrkB immunocontent in the hippocampus.

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