Exendin-4 Ameliorates Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Cognitive Impairment in Rats

Eakin, Katharine; Li, Yazhou; Chiang, Yung-Hsiao; Hoffer, Barry J.; Rosenheim, Hilary; Greig, Nigel H.; Miller, Jonathan P.
December 2013
PLoS ONE;Dec2013, Vol. 8 Issue 12, p1
Academic Journal
Traumatic brain injury represents a major public health issue that affects 1.7 million Americans each year and is a primary contributing factor (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States. The occurrence of traumatic brain injury is likely underestimated and thus has been termed “a silent epidemic”. Exendin-4 is a long-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus that not only effectively induces glucose-dependent insulin secretion to regulate blood glucose levels but also reduces apoptotic cell death of pancreatic β-cells. Accumulating evidence also supports a neurotrophic and neuroprotective role of glucagon-like peptide-1 in an array of cellular and animal neurodegeneration models. In this study, we evaluated the neuroprotective effects of Exendin-4 using a glutamate toxicity model in vitro and fluid percussion injury in vivo. We found neuroprotective effects of Exendin-4 both in vitro, using markers of cell death, and in vivo, using markers of cognitive function, as assessed by Morris Water Maze. In combination with the reported benefits of ex-4 in other TBI models, these data support repositioning of Exendin-4 as a potential treatment for traumatic brain injury.


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