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Early treatment with an M1 and sigma-1 receptor agonist prevents cognitive decline in a transgenic rat model displaying Alzheimer-like amyloid pathology.

Neurobiology of Aging 2023 September 27
The application of the selective allosteric M1 muscarinic and sigma-1 receptor agonist, AF710B (aka ANAVEX3-71), has shown to attenuate Alzheimer's disease-like hallmarks in McGill-R-Thy1-APP transgenic rats when administered at advanced pathological stages. It remains unknown whether preventive treatment strategies applying this compound may be equally effective. We tested whether daily oral administration of AF710B (10 µg/kg) in 7-month-old, preplaque, McGill-R-Thy1-APP rats for 7 months, followed by a 4-week washout period, could prevent Alzheimer's disease-like pathological hallmarks. Long-term AF710B treatment prevented the cognitive impairment of McGill-R-Thy1-APP rats. The effect was accompanied by a reduction in the number of amyloid plaques in the hippocampus and the levels of Aβ42 and Aβ40 peptides in the cerebral cortex. AF710B treatment also reduced microglia and astrocyte recruitment toward CA1 hippocampal Aβ-burdened neurons compared to vehicle-treated McGill-R-Thy1-APP rats, also altering the inflammatory cytokines profile. Lastly, AF710B treatment rescued the conversion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor precursor to its mature and biologically active form. Overall, these results suggest preventive and disease-modifying properties of the compound.

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