Single administration of a novel γ-secretase modulator ameliorates cognitive dysfunction in aged C57BL/6J mice

Brain Res. 2016 Feb 15;1633:52-61. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.12.020. Epub 2015 Dec 17.


Mutations in presenilin 1 (PS1) and presenilin 2 (PS2) are known to cause early onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD). These proteins comprise the catalytic domain of γ-secretase, which catalyzes the cleavage of β-amyloid (Aβ) from amyloid precursor protein (APP). In recent reports, PS1 and PS2 were linked to the modulation of intracellular calcium ion (Ca(2+)) dynamics, a key regulator of synaptic function. Ca(2+) dysregulation and synaptic dysfunction are leading hypothesis of cognitive dysfunctions during aging and AD progression. Accordingly, manipulations of presenilins by small molecules may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction. In an accompanying report, we showed that chronic treatment with compound-1, a novel γ-secretase modulator (GSM), reduced Aβ production and ameliorated cognitive dysfunction in Tg2576 APP transgenic mice. Accordingly, in the present study we showed that single oral administration of compound-1 at 1 and 3mg/kg ameliorated cognitive dysfunction in aged non-transgenic mice. Moreover, compound-1 enhanced synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices from aged C57BL/6J mice and increased messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of the immediate early gene c-fos, which has been shown to be related to synaptic plasticity in vivo. Finally, compound-1 modulated Ca(2+) signals through PS1 in mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. Taken together, compound-1 ameliorates both Aβ pathology and age-related cognitive dysfunctions. Hence, compound-1 may have potential as an early intervention for the cognitive declines that are commonly diagnosed in aged subjects, such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and prodromal AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer׳s disease; Cognitive function; Compound-1; Presenilin; γ-secretase modulator.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neuronal Plasticity / drug effects*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Pyridines / pharmacology*
  • Triazoles / pharmacology*


  • 2-(3-(3-methoxy-4-(2-methyl-1,3-oxazol-5-yl)phenyl) -8-(3,4,5-trifluorophenoxy)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro(1,2,4)triazolo(4,3-a)pyridin-8-yl)propan-2-ol
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Pyridines
  • Triazoles
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases