Endothelin-A receptor antagonists prevent amyloid-β-induced increase in ETA receptor expression, oxidative stress, and cognitive impairment

J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;23(3):491-503. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-101245.


Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with abnormal accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) which can release endothelin (ET). The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of ET antagonists on Aβ-induced changes in ETA and ETB receptor expression, oxidative stress, and cognitive impairment. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with Aβ1-40 in the lateral cerebral ventricles and were administered vehicle or ET antagonists for 14 days. Aβ treatment produced an increase in ETA receptor expression in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and brain stem by 72%, 85%, and 90%, respectively. No change in ETB receptor expression was observed. There was an increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) and decrease in reduced glutathione (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels in Aβ-treated rats. In the Morris swim task, Aβ treated rats showed a significant impairment in spatial memory. ET receptor antagonists, BQ123, BMS182874, and TAK-044, significantly decreased Aβ-induced increase in ETA expression in the cortex, hippocampus, and brain stem. Rats treated with ET antagonists showed significant attenuation of Aβ-induced changes in the brain MDA, GSH, and SOD levels. Rats treated with specific ETA receptor antagonists, BQ123 and BMS182874, significantly reduced the cognitive impairment induced by Aβ. However, nonspecific ETA/ETB receptor antagonist TAK-044 did not show any improvement in the learning and memory parameter. This study demonstrates that ETA receptor antagonists are effective in preventing cognitive impairment, changes in ETA expression and oxidative stress induced by Aβ. It is concluded that ETA receptor antagonists may be useful in improving cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Cognition Disorders / metabolism*
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Dansyl Compounds / pharmacology
  • Dansyl Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Endothelin A Receptor Antagonists*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Peptide Fragments / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Peptide Fragments / toxicity
  • Peptides, Cyclic / pharmacology
  • Peptides, Cyclic / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptor, Endothelin A / biosynthesis*
  • Receptor, Endothelin A / metabolism


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Dansyl Compounds
  • Endothelin A Receptor Antagonists
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • Receptor, Endothelin A
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-40)
  • 5-(dimethylamino)-N-(3,4-dimethyl-5-isoxazolyl)-1-naphthalenesulfonamide
  • TAK 044
  • cyclo(Trp-Asp-Pro-Val-Leu)