Exenatide enhances cognitive performance and upregulates neurotrophic factor gene expression levels in diabetic mice

Gumuslu E., Mutlu O. , Celikyurt I. K. , Ulak G. , Akar F. , Erden F. , ...More

FUNDAMENTAL & CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, vol.30, pp.376-384, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/fcp.12192
  • Page Numbers: pp.376-384


Exenatide is a potent and selective agonist for the GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor. Recent studies are focused on the effects of GLP-1 analogues on hippocampal neurogenesis, cognition, learning and memory functions. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of chronic exenatide treatment (0.1 g/kg, s.c, twice daily for 2 weeks) on spatial memory functions by using the modified elevated plus maze (mEPM) test and emotional memory functions by using the passive avoidance (PA) test in streptozotocin/nicotinamide (STZ-NA)-induced diabetic mice. As the genes involved in neurite remodelling are among the primary targets of regulation, the effects of diabetes and chronic administration of exenatide on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element binding protein (CREB) messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) levels in the hippocampus of mice were also determined using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). This study revealed that in the mEPM and PA tests, type-2 diabetes-induced mice exhibited significant impairment of learning and memory which were ameliorated by GLP-1 receptor agonist exenatide. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that CREB and BDNF gene expression levels were downregulated in diabetic mice, and these alterations were increased by exenatide treatment. Since, exenatide improves cognitive ability in STZ/NA-induced diabetic mice and activates molecular mechanisms of memory storage in response to a learning experience, it may be a candidate for alleviation of mood and cognitive disorder.