Influence of piracetam and oxiracetam on the content of high-energy phosphates and morphometry of astrocytes in vitro

Pol J Pharmacol. Nov-Dec 1999;51(6):485-95.


The nootropic drugs, including piracetam (PIR) and oxiracetam (OXI) are used in the adjunctive treatment of dementia. They are thought to directly influence energetic processes in the brain and, therefore, they are supposed to improve memory and cognition. The content of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and phosphocreatine (PCr) and 3H-valine incorporation into proteins were measured, and the morphometry was performed after PIR and OXI treatment of astrocytes cultured in vitro with or without dibutyryl 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (dBcAMP). Nootropics were added into the culture medium for 2 weeks at a final concentration of 10(-7) M. It was shown that OXI increased ATP content in astrocytes cultured with or without dBcAMP. The increase in 3H-valine incorporation into astrocytes after PIR and OXI together with dBcAMP treatment was found. These results indicate that the presented research model allows to study energetic processes in cultured astrocytes. However, nootropic drugs changed morphometric parameters (cell area, perimeter and form factor) of cultured astrocytes as well. It can be concluded that PIR and OXI as nootropics have an opposing effect on the content of high-energy phosphates and shape of astrocytes in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Bucladesine / pharmacology
  • Cell Size / drug effects
  • Cell Size / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Phosphocreatine / drug effects*
  • Phosphocreatine / metabolism
  • Piracetam / pharmacology*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / pharmacology*
  • Pyrrolidines / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Valine / drug effects
  • Valine / metabolism


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Pyrrolidines
  • Phosphocreatine
  • Bucladesine
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Valine
  • oxiracetam
  • Piracetam