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Effect of Selective 5-HT6R Agonist on Expression of 5-HT Receptor and Neurotransmitter in Vascular Dementia Rats

Haining Yu, Tao Chen, Li Zhou, Jiyou Tang

(Department of Neurology, Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:818-825

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.899067


BACKGROUND: 5-HT6 receptor (5-HT6R) has pluripotent roles regulating secretion of neurotransmitters. However, whether 5-HT6R is involved in the development of vascular dementia (VD) remains unclear. To evaluate the role and mechanism of 5-HT6R in VD, this study established a rat VD model to evaluate the effect of selective 5-HT6R agonist on the expression of 5-HT6R mRNA and neurotransmitter.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Eighty healthy male SD rats (7 weeks old) were randomly assigned to sham, model, 5-HT6R agonist, and placebo groups (N=20 each). A rat VD model was generated by permeant bilateral ligation of the common carotid artery. 5-HT6R agonist, placebo, or saline were given intraperitoneally for 4 weeks. The Morris water maze was utilized to test learning and memory function. Brains were extracted to separate the cortex and hippocampal tissues, in which glutamate and g-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels were analyzed. mRNA and protein levels of 5-HT6R were determined by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC), respectively.
RESULTS: Model rats had longer escape latency and fewer crossing platform times. Contents of DA, Glu, GABA, and Ach were lowered in cortical and hippocampal tissues, and 5-HT6R expression was suppressed (p<0.05). The application of 5-HT6R agonist shortened escape latency and increased the number of passing through the platform. It also improved hippocampal CA1 neuronal damage and elevated DA, Glu, GABA, and Ach contents and expression of 5-HT6R. Expression of 5-HT6R was not different from the placebo group.
CONCLUSIONS: Selective 5-HT6R agonist can alleviate learning deficit of VD rats, possibly via improving neurotransmitter levels in brain regions.

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