Insulin receptor signaling in rat hippocampus: a study in STZ (ICV) induced memory deficit model

Rahul Agrawal, Ethika Tyagi, Rakesh Shukla, Chandishwar Nath
European Neuropsychopharmacology: the Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2011, 21 (3): 261-73
Brain insulin receptors (IRs) have been suggested as an important regulatory factor for cognitive functions but the involvement of IR signaling in memory deficit associated with neurodegenerative conditions is not yet explored. In the present study, IR gene expression was studied by RT-PCR and signaling pathways by immunoblotting in CA1, DG and CA3 subregions of hippocampus in intracerebroventricular (ICV) administered streptozotocin (STZ, 3mg/kg twice) induced memory deficit model in rat. The effect of pre- and post-treatment of donepezil (5mg/kg po) and melatonin (20mg/kg po) on signaling pathways were studied. Effect of LY294002 (ICV), a PI3 Kinase inhibitor, was also investigated on memory functions and Akt phosphorylation. An increased IR expression (both gene and protein), phosphorylation of Shc, Erk1/2, IRS-1 and Akt in CA1 and CA3 region of P2M fraction was observed after training as compared to control. STZ treated rats showed memory deficit and significant decrease in IR expression, phosphorylation of IRS-1 and Akt only in CA3 region as compared to trained group which were reversed by pre and post-treatment of melatonin but donepezil was effective only against memory deficit. LY294002 (3mM) treatment showed delayed learning and decrease in Akt phosphorylation. This study suggests that IR expression and its signaling pathways in hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions are involved in memory functions and STZ (ICV) induced memory deficit. Hippocampal IR system might be playing an important role in regulation of memory functions, however only IR/IRS-1/Akt pathway in CA3 region is associated with STZ induced memory deficit.

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