Adenosine A2A receptors are putative therapeutic targets for neurological disorders. The adenosine A2A receptor antagonist istradefylline is approved in Japan for Parkinson's disease and is being tested in clinical trials for this condition elsewhere. A2A receptors on neurons and astrocytes may contribute to Alzheimer's disease (AD) by impairing memory. However, it is not known whether istradefylline enhances cognitive function in aging animals with AD-like amyloid plaque pathology. Here, we show that elevated levels of Aβ, C-terminal fragments of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), or amyloid plaques, but not overexpression of APP per se, increase astrocytic A2A receptor levels in the hippocampus and neocortex of aging mice. Moreover, in amyloid plaque-bearing mice, low-dose istradefylline treatment enhanced spatial memory and habituation, supporting the conclusion that, within a well-defined dose range, A2A receptor blockers might help counteract memory problems in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
Keywords: Adenosine receptors; Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid plaques; Antagonist; Astrocytes; Behavior; Inhibition; Istradefylline; Memory; Therapy.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.