Inhibitory effect of INT-777 on lipopolysaccharide-induced cognitive impairment, neuroinflammation, apoptosis, and synaptic dysfunction in mice

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Abstract

Neuroinflammation plays an important role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and memory impairment. Herein, we evaluated the neuroprotective effects of 6-ethyl-23(S)-methyl-cholic acid (INT-777), a specific G-protein coupled bile acid receptor 1 (TGR5) agonist, in the LPS-treated mouse model of acute neurotoxicity. Single intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of LPS remarkably induced mouse behavioral impairments in Morris water maze, novel object recognition, and Y-maze avoidance tests, which were ameliorated by INT-777 (1.5 or 3.0 μg/mouse, i.c.v.) treatment. Importantly, INT-777 treatment reversed LPS-induced TGR5 down-regulation, suppressed the increase of nuclear NF-κB p65, and mitigated neuroinflammation, evidenced by lower proinflammatory cytokines, less activation of microglia, and increased the ratio of p-CREB/CREB or mBDNF/proBDNF in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. In addition, INT-777 treatment also suppressed neuronal apoptosis, as indicated by the reduction of TUNEL-positive cells, decreased activation of caspase-3, increased the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax, and ameliorated synaptic dysfunction as evidenced by the upregulation of PSD95 and synaptophysin in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. Taken together, this study showed the potential neuroprotective effects of INT-777 against LPS-induced cognitive impairment, neuroinflammation, apoptosis, and synaptic dysfunction in mice.

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