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Keywords:

  • humanin;
  • Morris water maze;
  • long-term potentiation;
  • STAT3;
  • caspases-3

ABSTRACT

Rattin, a specific derivative of humanin in rats, shares the ability with HN to protect neurons against amyloid β (Aβ) peptide-induced cellular toxicity. However, it is still unclear whether Rattin can protect against Aβ-induced deficits in cognition and synaptic plasticity in rats. In the present study, we observed the effects of Rattin and Aβ31–35 on the spatial reference memory and in vivo hippocampal Long-term potentiation of rats by using Morris water maze test and hippocampal field potential recording. Furthermore, the probable molecular mechanism underlying the neuroprotective roles of Rattin was investigated. We showed that intra-hippocampal injection of Rattin effectively prevented the Aβ31–35-induced spatial memory deficits and hippocampal LTP suppression in rats; the Aβ31–35-induced activation of Caspase-3 and inhibition of STAT3 in the hippocampus were also prevented by Rattin treatment. These findings indicate that Rattin treatment can protect spatial memory and synaptic plasticity of rats against Aβ31–35-induced impairments, and the underlying protective mechanism of Rattin may be involved in STAT3 and Caspases-3 pathways. Therefore, application of Rattin or activation of its signaling pathways in the brain might be beneficial to the prevention of Aβ-related cognitive deficits. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.