JOURNAL ARTICLE

Safety and neurochemical profiles of acute and sub-chronic oral treatment with agmatine sulfate

David H Bergin, Yu Jing, Gail Williams, Bruce G Mockett, Hu Zhang, Wickliffe C Abraham, Ping Liu
Scientific Reports 2019 September 3, 9 (1): 12669
31481723
Agmatine (decarboxylated arginine) exerts numerous central nervous system (CNS) dependent pharmacological effects and may potentially modulate altered neurochemistry seen in neurological disorders. In preclinical studies, injection has been the predominant route of systemic administration. However, a significant translational step would be the use of oral agmatine treatment at therapeutic doses and better understanding of L-arginine metabolic profiles in the CNS post-treatment. The present study systematically investigated the tolerability, safety and brain-plasma neurochemistry following daily oral agmatine sulfate treatment (via gavage) to wild-type (WT) mice up to 900 mg/kg for one week (Experiment 1) or WT and APPswe/PS1ΔE9 transgenic (Tg) mice at 300 mg/kg for fifteen weeks (Experiment 2). Agmatine treatment in both experiments was well tolerated with no marked behavioural impairments, and gross necropsy and organ histology revealed no pathological alterations after 15-week dosing. Moreover, oral treatment increased agmatine levels in the hippocampus and plasma of WT mice (Experiment 1), and in 6 brain regions examined (but not plasma) of WT and Tg mice (Experiment 2), at 30 minutes or 24 hours post-treatment respectively. This study provides fundamental pre-clinical evidence that daily oral delivery of agmatine sulfate to both WT and Tg mice is safe and well tolerated. Exogenous agmatine passes through the blood brain barrier and accumulates in the brain to a greater extent in Tg mice. Furthermore exogenous agmatine has differential actions in the brain and periphery, and its effect on brain putrescine appears to be dependent on the time post-treatment.

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