Long-term cilostazol administration ameliorates memory decline in senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) through a dual effect on cAMP and blood-brain barrier
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs), which hydrolyze and inactivate 3′, 5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and 3′, 5′-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), play an important role in synaptic plasticity that underlies memory. Recently, several PDE inhibitors were assessed for their possible therapeutic efficacy in treating cognitive disorders. Here, we examined how cilostazol, a selective PDE3 inhibitor, affects brain functions in senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8), an animal model of age-related cognitive impairment. Long-term administration of cilostazol restored the impaired context-dependent conditioned fear memory of SAMP8 to match that in normal aging control substrain SAMR1. Cilostazol also increased the number of cells containing phosphorylated cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), a downstream component of the cAMP pathway. Finally, cilostazol improves blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity, demonstrated by reduced extravasation of 2-deoxy-2-18F-fluoro-D-glucose and Evans Blue dye in the brains of SAMP8. This improvement in BBB integrity was associated with an increased amount of zona occludens protein 1 (ZO-1) and occludin proteins, components of tight junctions integral to the BBB. The results suggest that long-term administration of cilostazol exerts its beneficial effects on age-related cognitive impairment through a dual mechanism: by enhancing the cAMP system in the brain and by maintaining or improving BBB integrity.