Recent work has reported that the insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) promotes memory enhancement. Furthermore, impaired insulin or IGF1 functions have been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration and cognitive impairments, hence implicating the insulin/IGF system as an important target for cognitive enhancement and/or the development of novel treatments against cognitive disorders. Here, we tested the effect of intracerebral injections of IGF1, IGF2, or insulin on memory consolidation and persistence in rats. We found that a bilateral injection of insulin into the dorsal hippocampus transiently enhances hippocampal-dependent memory and an injection of IGF1 has no effect. None of the three peptides injected into the amygdala affected memories critically engaging this region. Together with previous data on IGF2, these results indicate that IGF2 produces the most potent and persistent effect as a memory enhancer on hippocampal-dependent memories. We suggest that the memory-enhancing effects of insulin and IGF2 are likely mediated by distinct mechanisms.
© 2014 Stern et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.