Fingolimod increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels and ameliorates amyloid β-induced memory impairment

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Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Amyloid β, a neurotoxic protein, causes disruption of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, and induces cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease. We previously revealed that fingolimod, a new oral immunosuppressant used to treat multiple sclerosis, ameliorates oligomeric amyloid β-induced neuronal damage via up-regulation of neuronal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Here, we showed that oral administration of fingolimod ameliorated the impairment in object recognition memory and associative learning in mice injected with amyloid β. This effect was associated with restoration of normal BDNF expression levels in the cerebral cortices and hippocampi, suggesting that neuroprotection was mediated by up-regulation of neuronal BDNF levels. Therefore, fingolimod may provide therapeutic effects in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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