Neuroprotective effect of chronic verapamil treatment on cognitive and noncognitive deficits in an experimental Alzheimer's disease in rats
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It is well known that disturbance of calcium homeostasis has a significant role in the development of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our recent data suggest that acute treatment with the calcium antagonist verapamil can improve some behavioral deficits in an experimental model of AD. Therefore, the present study was done to establish the effect of chronically administered verapamil on cognitive and noncognitive behavior of rats with bilateral electrolytical lesions of nucleus basalis manocellularis (NBM) - an animal model of AD. The NBM lesions produce a deficit in performance of diverse behavior tests: active avoidance (AA), low level of fear (the open field test) as well as aggressive (the test of foot-shock induced aggression) and depressive (the learned helplessness test) behavior. Verapamil (1.0, 2.5, 5.0 and 10.0 mg/kg i.p.) or saline solution (1 ml/kg i.p.) were injected 24 hr after the lesion of NBM and then repeatedly administered during the nex...t 8 days (twice a day). Performance of the two-way active avoidance test, the open field test, the foot shock-induced aggression test and the learned helplessness test were done on day 4 after the last verapamil or saline treatment (day 13 after the lesion). Verapamil in doses of 2.5 and 5.0 mg/kg significantly ameliorated the deficit in the performance of AA, the open field behavior, and the depression, but not the aggressive behavior. The obtained beneficial effect of chronic administered verapamil suggests that the regulation of calcium homeostasis during the early period after NBM lesions might be a reasonable way to prevent the behavioral deficits in an experimental model of AD.
Keywords:Alzheimer's disease / nucleus basalis magnocellularis / two-way active avoidance / open field / foot-shock aggression / learned helplessness / chronic verapamil treatment / neuroprotection rats
Source:International Journal of Neuroscience, 1997, 92, 1-2, 79-93
- Taylor & Francis Ltd, Abingdon