Inhibition of phosphodiesterase-4 reverses memory deficits produced by Aβ25-35 or Aβ1-40 peptide in rats.Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Oct; 212(2):181-91.P
Cyclic AMP signaling plays an important role in memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, little is known about whether inhibition of phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4), which increases intracellular cAMP, reverses β-amyloid peptide (Aβ)-induced memory deficits.
Experiments were performed to demonstrate the effect of the PDE4 inhibitor rolipram on memory impairment produced by Aβ1-40 (Aβ40) or its core fragment Aβ25-35.
We tested memory using Morris water-maze and passive avoidance tasks and examined expression of phosphorylated cAMP response-element binding protein (pCREB) in the hippocampus in rats treated with Aβ25-35 or Aβ40 into bilateral CA1 subregions, with or without rolipram administration.
Aβ25-35 (10 μg/side) increased escape latency during acquisition training and decreased swimming time and distance in the target quadrant in the water-maze probe trial; it also decreased 24-h retention in the passive avoidance paradigm. All these were reversed by chronic administration of rolipram (0.5 mg/kg). Similarly, Aβ40 (4 μg/side) produced memory impairment, as demonstrated by decreased retention in passive avoidance; this was also reversed by repeated treatment with rolipram. In addition, rolipram blocked extinction of memory during the 32-day testing period in the passive avoidance test. Further, Aβ40 decreased pCREB expression in the hippocampus, which was also reversed by rolipram; the changes in pCREB were highly correlated with those in memory.
These results suggest that the PDE4 inhibitor rolipram reverses cognitive deficits associated with AD most likely via increased cAMP/CREB signaling in the hippocampus; PDE4 could be a target for drugs that improve cognition in AD.