Neuroprotective effects of sildenafil against oxidative stress and memory dysfunction in mice exposed to noise stress

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Noise exposure has been well characterized as an environmental stressor, and is known to have auditory and non-auditory effects. Phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors affect memory and hippocampus plasticity through various signaling cascades which are regulated by cGMP. In this study, we investigated the effects of sildenafil on memory deficiency, neuroprotection and oxidative stress in mice caused by chronic noise exposure. Mice were exposed to noise for 4 h every day up to 14 days at 110 dB SPL of noise level. Sildenafil (15 mg/kg) was orally administered 30 min before noise exposure for 14 days. Behavioral assessments were performed using novel object recognition (NOR) test and radial arm maze (RAM) test. Higher levels of memory dysfunction and oxidative stress were observed in noise alone-induced mice compared to control group. Interestingly, sildenafil administration increased memory performance, decreased oxidative stress, and increased neuroprotection in the hippocampus region of noise alone-induced mice likely through affecting memory related pathways such as cGMP/PKG/CREB and p25/CDK5, and induction of free radical scavengers such as SOD1, SOD2, SOD3, Prdx5, and catalase in the brain of stressed mice.

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