JOURNAL ARTICLE

The phosphodiesterase type 2 inhibitor BAY 60-7550 reverses functional impairments induced by brain ischemia by decreasing hippocampal neurodegeneration and enhancing hippocampal neuronal plasticity

Ligia Mendes Soares, Erika Meyer, Humberto Milani, Harry W M Steinbusch, Jos Prickaerts, Rúbia M Weffort de Oliveira
European Journal of Neuroscience 2017, 45 (4): 510-520
27813297
Cognitive and affective impairments are the most characterized consequences following cerebral ischemia. BAY 60-7550, a selective phosphodiesterase type 2 inhibitor (PDE2-I), presents memory-enhancing and anxiolytic-like properties. The behavioral effects of BAY 60-7550 have been associated with its ability to prevent hydrolysis of both cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) thereby interfering with neuronal plasticity. Here, we hypothesize that PDE2-I treatment could promote functional recovery after brain ischemia. Mice C57Bl/6 were submitted to bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO), an experimental model of transient brain ischemia, for 20 min. During 21 days after reperfusion, the animals were tested in a battery of behavioral tests including the elevated zero maze (EZM), object location task (OLT) and forced swim test (FST). The effects of BAY 60-7550 were evaluated on neuronal nuclei (NeuN), caspase-9, cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), phosphorylated CREB (pCREB) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the hippocampus. BCCAO increased anxiety levels, impaired hippocampus-dependent cognitive function and induced despair-like behavior in mice. Hippocampal neurodegeneration was evidenced by a decrease in NeuN and increase incaspase-9 protein levels in BCCAO mice. Ischemic mice also showed low BDNF protein levels in the hippocampus. Repeated treatment with BAY 60-7550 attenuated the behavioral impairments induced by BCCAO in mice. Concomitantly, BAY 60-7550 enhanced expression of pCREB and BDNF protein levels in the hippocampus of ischemic mice. The present findings suggest that chronic inhibition of PDE2 provides functional recovery in BCCAO mice possibly by augmenting hippocampal neuronal plasticity.

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