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April 2016, Publications using Morris Water Maze

Morin reverses neuropathological and cognitive impairments in APPswe/PS1dE9 mice by targeting multiple pathogenic mechanisms

Y Du, J Qu, W Zhang, M Bai, Q Zhou, Z Zhang, Z Li…

Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid-beta protein; Tau phosphorylation; Neuroinflammation; Cognitive deficits; Morin

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia worldwide, characterized by progressive cognitive impairment and multiple distinct neuropathological features. Currently, there are no available therapies to delay or block the disease progression. Thus, the disease-modifying therapies are urgent for this devastating disorder by simultaneously targeting multiple distinct pathological processes. Morin, a natural bioflavonoid, have been shown to be strongly neuroprotective in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we first investigated the disease-modifying effects of chronic morin administration on the neuropathological and cognitive impairments in APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice. Our results showed that chronic morin administration prevented spatial learning and memory deficits in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mice. Morin treatment in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mice markedly reduced cerebral Aβ production and Aβ plaque burden via promoting non-amyloidogenic APP processing pathway by increasing ADAM10 expression, inhibiting amyloidogenic APP processing pathway by decreased BACE1 and PS1 expression, and facilitating Aβ degradation by enhancing Aβ-degrading enzyme expression. In addition, we also found that morin treatment in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mice markedly decreased tau hyperphosphorylation via its inhibitory effect on CDK5 signal pathway. Furthermore, morin treatment in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mice markedly reduced the activated glial cells and increased the expression of synaptic markers. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that chronic morin treatment restores cognitive functions and reverses multiple distinct neuropathological AD-like hallmarks in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mice. This study provides novel insights into the neuroprotective actions and neurobiological mechanisms of morin against AD, suggesting that morin is a potently promising disease-modifying agent for treatment of AD.


Adolescent Choline Supplementation Attenuates Working Memory Deficits in Rats Exposed to Alcohol During the Third Trimester Equivalent

RD Schneider, JD Thomas


  • Fetal Alcohol;
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders;
  • Treatment;
  • Nutrition


Children exposed to alcohol prenatally may suffer from behavioral and cognitive alterations that adversely affect their quality of life. Animal studies have shown that perinatal supplementation with the nutrient choline can attenuate ethanol's adverse effects on development; however, it is not clear how late in development choline can be administered and still effectively reduce the consequences of prenatal alcohol exposure. Using a rodent model, this study examined whether choline supplementation is effective in mitigating alcohol's teratogenic effects when administered during adolescence/young adulthood.


Sprague–Dawley rats were exposed to alcohol (5.25 g/kg/d) during the third trimester equivalent brain growth spurt, which occurs from postnatal day (PD) 4 to 9, via oral intubation. Sham-intubated and nontreated controls were included. Subjects were treated with 100 mg/kg/d choline chloride or vehicle from PD 40 to 60, a period equivalent to young adulthood in the rat. After the choline treatment had ceased, subjects were tested on a series of behavioral tasks: open field activity (PD 61 to 64), Morris water maze spatial learning (PD 65 to 73), and spatial working memory (PD 87 to 91).


Ethanol-exposed subjects were overactive in the activity chambers and impaired on both the spatial and the working memory versions of the Morris water maze. Choline treatment failed to attenuate alcohol-related overactivity in the open field and deficits in Morris water maze performance. In contrast, choline supplementation significantly mitigated alcohol-related deficits in working memory, which may suggest that choline administration at this later developmental time affects functioning of the prefrontal cortex.


The results indicate that adolescent choline supplementation can attenuate some, but not all, of the behavioral deficits associated with early developmental alcohol exposure. The results of this study indicate that dietary intervention may reduce some fetal alcohol effects, even when administered later in life, findings with important implications for adolescents and young adults with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Diffuse traumatic axonal injury in mice induces complex behavioural alterations that are normalized by neutralization of interleukin‐1β

S Ekmark‐Lewén, J Flygt…


  • axonal injury;
  • behavioural outcome;
  • central fluid percussion injury;
  • interleukin-1β;
  • traumatic brain injury


Widespread traumatic axonal injury (TAI) results in brain network dysfunction, which commonly leads to persisting cognitive and behavioural impairments following traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI induces a complex neuroinflammatory response, frequently located at sites of axonal pathology. The role of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1β has not been established in TAI. An IL-1β-neutralizing or a control antibody was administered intraperitoneally at 30 min following central fluid percussion injury (cFPI), a mouse model of widespread TAI. Mice subjected to moderate cFPI (n = 41) were compared with sham-injured controls (n = 20) and untreated, naive mice (n = 9). The anti-IL-1β antibody reached the target brain regions in adequate therapeutic concentrations (up to ~30 μg/brain tissue) at 24 h post-injury in both cFPI (n = 5) and sham-injured (n = 3) mice, with lower concentrations at 72 h post-injury (up to ~18 μg/g brain tissue in three cFPI mice). Functional outcome was analysed with the multivariate concentric square field (MCSF) test at 2 and 9 days post-injury, and the Morris water maze (MWM) at 14–21 days post-injury. Following TAI, the IL-1β-neutralizing antibody resulted in an improved behavioural outcome, including normalized behavioural profiles in the MCSF test. The performance in the MWM probe (memory) trial was improved, although not in the learning trials. The IL-1β-neutralizing treatment did not influence cerebral ventricle size or the number of microglia/macrophages. These findings support the hypothesis that IL-1β is an important contributor to the processes causing complex cognitive and behavioural disturbances following TAI.


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