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J Nutr Biochem. 2018 Jan;51:69-79. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.09.016. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Sulforaphane attenuates postnatal proteasome inhibition and improves spatial learning in adult mice.

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Department of Biochemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India; Department of Biotechnology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research - Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. Electronic address:
Department of Dermatology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.
Department of Biochemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.


Proteasomes are known to degrade proteins involved in various processes like metabolism, signal transduction, cell-cycle regulation, inflammation, and apoptosis. Evidence showed that protein degradation has a strong influence on developing neurons as well as synaptic plasticity. Here, we have shown that sulforaphane (SFN) could prevent the deleterious effects of postnatal proteasomal inhibition on spatial reference and working memory of adult mice. One day old Balb/c mice received intracerebroventricular injections of MG132 and SFN. Sham received an equal volume of aCSF. We observed that SFN pre-administration could attenuate MG132 mediated decrease in proteasome and calpain activities. In vitro findings revealed that SFN could induce proteasomal activity by enhancing the expression of catalytic subunit-β5. SFN pre-administration prevented the hippocampus based spatial memory impairments during adulthood, mediated by postnatal MG132 exposure. Histological examination showed deleterious effects of MG132 on pyramidal neurons and granule cell neurons in DG and CA3 sub-regions respectively. Furthermore, SFN pre-administration has shown to attenuate the effect of MG132 on proteasome subunit-β5 expression and also induce the Nrf2 nuclear translocation. In addition, SFN pre-administered mice have also shown to induce expression of pCaMKII, pCreb, and mature/pro-Bdnf, molecules which play a crucial role in spatial learning and memory consolidation. Our findings have shown that proteasomes play an important role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity during the early postnatal period and SFN pre-administration could enhance the proteasomal activity as well as improve spatial learning and memory consolidation.


Hippocampus; MG132; Proteasome; Spatial memory; Sulforaphane; Synaptic Plasticity

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