Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurosci. 2010 Oct 13;30(41):13867-72. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2783-10.2010.

Partial deficiency or short-term inhibition of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 improves cognitive function in aging mice.

Author information

Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh, Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.


11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) regenerates active glucocorticoids (GCs) from intrinsically inert 11-keto substrates inside cells, including neurons, thus amplifying steroid action. Excess GC action exerts deleterious effects on the hippocampus and causes impaired spatial memory, a key feature of age-related cognitive dysfunction. Mice with complete deficiency of 11β-HSD1 are protected from spatial memory impairments with aging. Here, we tested whether lifelong or short-term decreases in 11β-HSD1 activity are sufficient to alter cognitive function in aged mice. Aged (24 months old) heterozygous male 11β-HSD1 knock-out mice, with ∼60% reduction in hippocampal 11β-reductase activity throughout life, were protected against spatial memory impairments in the Y-maze compared to age-matched congenic C57BL/6J controls. Pharmacological treatment of aged C57BL/6J mice with a selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitor (UE1961) for 10 d improved spatial memory performance in the Y-maze (59% greater time in novel arm than vehicle control). These data support the use of selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitors in the treatment of age-related cognitive impairments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center