Original Article

The novel squamosamide derivative FLZ enhances BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling and inhibits neuronal apoptosis in APP/PS1 mice

Authors: Ning Li, Geng-tao Liu
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2010.3


Aim: The aim of this study was to study the effects of compound FLZ, a novel cyclic derivative of squamosamide from Annona glabra, on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB)/cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) signaling and neuronal apoptosis in the hippocampus of the amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilin-1 (PS1) double transgenic mice.
Methods: APP/PS1 mice at the age of 5 months and age-matched wild-type mice (WT) were intragastrically administered FLZ (150 mg/kg) or vehicle [0.05% carboxymethyl cellulose sodium (CMC-Na)] daily for 20 weeks. The levels of BDNF in the hippocampus of WT and APP/PS1 mice were then measured by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. Neuronal apoptosis in mouse hippocampus was detected by Nissl staining. Expression of NGF, NT3, pTrkB (Tyr515)/TrkB, pAkt (Ser473)/Akt, pERK/ERK, pCREB (Ser133)/CREB, Bcl-2/Bax, and active caspase-3 fragment/caspase-3 in the hippocampus of WT and APP/PS1 mice was detected by Western blot analysis.
Results: Compared with vehicle-treated APP/PS1 mice, FLZ (150 mg/kg) significantly increased BDNF and NT3 expression in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice. In addition, FLZ promoted BDNF high-affinity receptor TrkB phosphorylation and activated its downstream ERK, thus increasing phosphorylation of CREB at Ser133 in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice. Moreover, FLZ showed neuroprotective effects on neuronal apoptosis by increasing the Bcl-2/Bax ratio and decreasing the active caspase-3 fragment/caspase-3 ratio in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice.
Conclusion: FLZ exerted neuroprotection at least partly through enhancing the BDNF/TrkB/CREB pathway and inhibiting neuronal apoptosis in APP/PS1 mice, which suggests that FLZ can be explored as a potential therapeutic agent in long-term Alzheimer's disease therapy.

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