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Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Jan 10;650(1):249-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.10.008. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

The glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist exendin-4 improves reference memory performance and decreases immobility in the forced swim test.

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NeuroNova AB, Fiskartorpsvägen 15 A-D, 114 33 Stockholm, Sweden.


We have earlier shown that the glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist exendin-4 stimulates neurogenesis in the subventricular zone and excerts anti-parkinsonian behavior. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of exendin-4 treatment on hippocampus-associated cognitive and mood-related behavior in adult rodents. To investigate potential effects of exendin-4 on hippocampal function, radial maze and forced swim test were employed. The time necessary to solve a radial maze task and the duration of immobility in the forced swim test were significantly reduced compared to respective vehicle groups if the animals had received exendin-4 during 1-2weeks before testing. In contrast to the positive control imipramine, single administration of exendin-4 1h before the challenge in the forced swim test had no effect. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the incorporation of bromodeoxyuridine, a marker for DNA synthesis, as well as doublecortin expression was increased in the hippocampal dentate gyrus following chronic treatment with exendin-4 compared to vehicle-treated controls. The neurogenic effect of exendin-4 on hippocampus was confirmed by quantitative PCR showing an upregulation of mRNA expression for Ki-67, doublecortin and Mash-1. Since exendin-4 significantly improves hippocampus-associated behavior in adult rodents, it may be a candidate for alleviation of mood and cognitive disorders.

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