• Open Access

Bepridil decreases Aβ and calcium levels in the thalamus after middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats

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Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cerebral ischaemia share similar features in terms of altered amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing and β-amyloid (Aβ) accumulation. We have previously shown that Aβ and calcium deposition, and β-secretase activity, are robustly increased in the ipsilateral thalamus after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats. Here, we investigated whether the non-selective calcium channel blocker bepridil, which also inhibits β-secretase cleavage of APP, affects thalamic accumulation of Aβ and calcium and in turn influences functional recovery in rats subjected to MCAO. A 27-day bepridil treatment (50 mg/kg, p.o.) initiated 2 days after MCAO significantly decreased the levels of soluble Aβ40, Aβ42 and calcium in the ipsilateral thalamus, as compared with vehicle-treated MCAO rats. Expression of seladin-1/DHCR24 protein, which is a potential protective factor against neuronal damage, was decreased at both mRNA and protein levels in the ipsilateral thalamus of MCAO rats. Conversely, bepridil treatment restored seladin-1/DHCR24 expression in the ipsilateral thalamus. Bepridil treatment did not significantly affect heme oxygenase-1- or NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase-1-mediated oxidative stress or inflammatory responses in the ipsilateral thalamus of MCAO rats. Finally, bepridil treatment mitigated MCAO-induced alterations in APP processing in the ipsilateral thalamus and improved contralateral forelimb use in MCAO rats. These findings suggest that bepridil is a plausible therapeutic candidate in AD or stroke owing to its multifunctional role in key cellular events that are relevant for the pathogenesis of these diseases.

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