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Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Feb;34(2):576-88. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.04.009. Epub 2012 May 15.

Liraglutide protects against amyloid-β protein-induced impairment of spatial learning and memory in rats.

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Department of Physiology, Key Laboratory of Cellular Physiology, Ministry of Education, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, PR China.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a risk factor of Alzheimer's disease (AD), most likely linked to an impairment of insulin signaling in the brain. Liraglutide, a novel long-lasting glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analog, facilitates insulin signaling and shows neuroprotective properties. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of liraglutide on the impairment of learning and memory formation induced by amyloid-β protein (Aβ), and the probable underlying electrophysiological and molecular mechanisms. We found that (1) bilateral intrahippocampal injection of Aβ(25-35) resulted in a significant decline of spatial learning and memory of rats in water maze tests, together with a serious depression of in vivo hippocampal late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP) in CA1 region of rats; (2) pretreatment with liraglutide effectively and dose-dependently protected against the Aβ(25-35)-induced impairment of spatial memory and deficit of L-LTP; (3) liraglutide injection also activated cAMP signal pathway in the brain, with a nearly doubled increase in the cAMP contents compared with control. These results strongly suggest that upregulation of GLP-1 signaling in the brain, such as application of liraglutide, may be a novel and promising strategy to ameliorate the learning and memory impairment seen in AD.

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