Effect of pioglitazone and simvastatin in lipopolysaccharide-induced amyloidogenesis and cognitive impairment in mice: possible role of glutamatergic pathway and oxidative stress

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Neuroinflammation and β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition in the brain are well known characteristics of neurodegeneration. Diabetes and hypercholesterolemia are the main risk factors leading to memory loss and cognitive impairment. Recently, it was found that statins and thiazolidinediones have promising anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects that could delay neurodegeneration and neuronal loss in diabetic and hypercholesterolemic patients. The aim of the present study was to investigate the protective effect of simvastatin, pioglitazone, and their combination in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation and amyloidogenesis. Mice were divided into five groups: group 1 received 0.9% saline, group 2 received LPS (0.8 mg/kg in saline), group 3 received LPS (0.8 mgl kg)+simvastatin (5 mg/kg in saline), group 4 received LPS (0.8 mg/kg)+pioglitazone (20 mg/kg in saline), group 5 receiving LPS (0.8 mg/kg)+simvastatin (5 mg/kg)+pioglitazone (20 mg/kg). Y-maze and novel object recognition were used to assess the spatial and nonspatial behavioral changes. Nitric oxide levels and glutamate levels were measured to elucidate the anti-glutamatergic and anti-inflammatory effects of the tested drugs. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect the presence of Aβ1–42 in the mice brain. LPS impaired memory, and increased Aβ deposition, nitric oxide, and glutamate brain levels. Both drugs produced a significant improvement in all parameters. We conclude that simvastatin and pioglitazone may have a protective effect against cognitive impairment induced by LPS, through targeting the glutamatergic and inflammatory pathways, especially in patients having hypercholesterolemia and diabetes.

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