Levosimendan enhances memory through antioxidant effect in rat model: behavioral and molecular study

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Impairment of learning and memory has been associated with accumulation of reactive oxygen species in the body. It has also been found that antioxidants enhance learning and memory. Levosimendan is a cardiac inotropic and vasodilator agent that has pleotropic effects including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and smooth muscle vasodilatory actions. In this study, we investigated the effect of levosimendan on learning and memory in rats. Levosimendan (12 µg/kg, intraperitoneally) or vehicle was administered once a week for 8 weeks. The radial arm water maze was used to assess spatial learning and memory. In addition, hippocampus levels of antioxidant biomarkers/enzyme – reduced glutathione (GSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), GSH/GSSG ratio, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance – were assessed. Levosimendan significantly enhanced short-term (30 min) and long-term (5 h) memory. Levosimendan also significantly increased levels of glutathione peroxidase and GSH and decreased thiobarbituric acid reactive substance. There were no significant effects on the level of other oxidative stress biomarkers. In conclusion, levosimendan enhanced short-term and long-term memory by potentiating antioxidant defense mechanism in the hippocampus.

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