Section 67
Chapter 66,523

Treatment with the glutamate modulator riluzole prevents early life stress-induced cognitive deficits and impairments in synaptic plasticity in APPswe/PS1dE9 mice

Lesuis, S.L.; Kaplick, P.M.; Lucassen, P.J.; Krugers, H.J.

Neuropharmacology 150: 175-183


ISSN/ISBN: 0028-3908
PMID: 30794835
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.02.023
Accession: 066522388

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Environmental factors like stress affect age-related cognitive deficits and promote Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related pathology in mice. Excess glutamate has been proposed as a possible mediator underlying these effects in the hippocampus, a vulnerable brain region implicated in learning and memory. Here, we examined a) whether stress applied during a sensitive developmental period early in life affects later synaptic plasticity, learning and memory and plaque load in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mouse model for Alzheimer's disease and b) whether these effects could be rescued using long-term treatment with the glutamate modulator riluzole. Our results demonstrate that ELS impairs synaptic plasticity in 6-month-old mice and increases plaque load in 12-month-old APPswe/PS1dE9 mice, while impairing flexible spatial learning in the Barnes maze at this age. Notably, spatial learning correlated well with hippocampal expression of the transporter EAAT2, which is important for extracellular glutamate uptake. The changes in LTP, plaque load and cognition after ELS were all prevented by riluzole treatment that started from post-weaning. These results suggest that normalising glutamate signalling may be a viable therapeutic strategy for treating vulnerable individuals at risk of developing stress-aggravated AD, particularly in relation to adverse early life experiences.

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