Lamotrigine attenuates deficits in synaptic plasticity and accumulation of amyloid plaques in APP/PS1 transgenic mice

Mao-Ying Zhang, Chuan-Yi Zheng, Ming-Ming Zou, Jian-Wei Zhu, Yan Zhang, Jing Wang, Chun-Feng Liu, Qi-Fa Li, Zhi-Cheng Xiao, Shao Li, Quan-Hong Ma, Ru-Xiang Xu

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71 Citations (Scopus)


Hyperactivity and its compensatory mechanisms may causally contribute to synaptic and cognitive deficits in Alzheimer s disease (AD). Blocking the overexcitation of the neural network, with levetiracetam (LEV), a sodium channel blocker applied in the treatment of epilepsy, prevented synaptic and cognitive deficits in human amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice. This study has brought the potential use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in AD therapy. We showed that the chronic treatment with lamotrigine (LTG), a broad-spectrum AED, suppressed abnormal spike activity, prevented the loss of spines, synaptophysin immunoreactivity, and neurons, and thus attenuated the deficits in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory in APP and presenilin 1 (PS1) mice, which express human mutant APP and PS1. In contrast with LEV, which failed to reduce the generation of amyloid beta, the chronic LTG treatment reduced the cleavage of APP by beta-secretase and thus the numbers and the size of amyloid plaques in the brains of APP and PS1 mice. Moreover, the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) were enhanced in the brains of APP and PS1 mice by the chronic LTG treatment. Therefore, these observations demonstrate that LTG attenuates AD pathology through multiple mechanisms, including modulation of abnormal network activity, reduction of the generation of amyloid beta and upregulation of BDNF and NGF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2713 - 2725
Number of pages13
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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