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Brain Res Bull. 2016 Apr;122:19-28. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2016.02.014. Epub 2016 Feb 18.

Alpha-lipoic acid-mediated activation of muscarinic receptors improves hippocampus- and amygdala-dependent memory.

Author information

1
Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Healthcare Biotechnology, Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology, Sector H-12, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan.
2
Department of Industrial Biotechnology, Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology, Sector H-12, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan.
3
Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
4
Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Healthcare Biotechnology, Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology, Sector H-12, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan. Electronic address: touqeer.aahmed@gmail.com.

Abstract

Aluminum (Al) is a neurotoxic agent which readily crosses the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and accumulates in the brain leading to neurodegenerative disorders, characterised by cognitive impairment. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant and has a potential to improve cognitive functions. This study aimed to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of ALA in AlCl3-induced neurotoxicity mouse model. Effect of ALA (25mg/kg/day) was evaluated in the AlCl3-induced neurotoxicity (AlCl3 150 mg/kg/day) mouse model on learning and memory using behaviour tests and on the expression of muscarinic receptor genes (using RT-PCR), in hippocampus and amygdala. Following ALA treatment, the expression of muscarinic receptor genes M1, M2 and choline acetyltransferase (ChaT) were significantly improved (p<0.05) relative to AlCl3-treated group. ALA enhanced fear memory (p<0.01) and social novelty preference (p<0.001) comparative to the AlCl3-treated group. Fear extinction memory was remarkably restored (p<0.001) in ALA-treated group demonstrated by reduced freezing response as compared to the AlCl3-treated group which showed higher freezing. In-silico analysis showed that racemic mixture of ALA has higher binding affinity for M1 and M2 compared to acetylcholine. These novel findings highlight the potential role of ALA in cognitive functions and cholinergic system enhancement thus presenting it an enviable therapeutic candidate for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Alpha-lipoic acid; Amygdala; Choline acetyltransferase; Cholinergic receptors; Hippocampus; Memory

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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