Sparing by rasagiline (TVP-1012) of cholinergic functions and behavior in the postnatal anoxia rat
Speiser Z, Katzir O, Rehavi M, Zabarski T, Cohen S.
Department of Physiology & Pharmacology,
Tel Aviv University,
Sackler School of Medicine, Israel.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1998 Jun;60(2):387-93


Rasagiline (N-propargyl-1(R)aminoindan) is a selective and potent MAO-B inhibitor currently under development as the mesylate salt (TVP-1012) for the treatment of various neurologic disorders. Preliminary work in adult and senescent rats, either normal or hypoxia-lesioned, showed that chronic rasagiline treatment improved performance in memory and learning tasks, suggesting some beneficial effect on central cholinergic function. We have now used the postnatal anoxia-lesioned rat as a model of cholinergic dysfunction. In the neonatal rat, anoxia strongly affects the cholinergic system, which has not yet reached full maturation at this state of life. Rasagiline mesylate was administered from day 1 to completion of the study (day 60), first through nursing mother milk until weaning (day 21), then in drinking water, at the rate of 0.5 mg/kg/day. Drug access to the CNS was verified by analysis of MAO activity in brain (at 21 days). Treatment improved the juvenile hyperactivity syndrome associated with anoxia (at day 28). It improved performance in the passive avoidance test to normal control level (at day 40). It improved spatial memory performance in the Morris water maze to normal control level (at day 50). The untreated anoxia group failed in these tasks and was significantly inferior to either the normal control and rasagiline-treated anoxia groups. Determination of ChAT activity in the caudate and hippocampus of rats from each of these groups gave the following results (pmol ACh/mg protein/min). Caudate: normal control, 588 +/- 56; anoxia, 398 +/- 54; rasagiline-treated anoxia, 536 +/- 35. Hippocampus: normal control, 380 +/- 31; anoxia, 275 +/- 47; rasagiline-treated anoxia, 325 +/- 35. Results are mean +/- SD from each of seven to nine different donors in a group. Thus, improvement in memory and learning tasks of the rasagiline-treated anoxia group finds correspondence in the activity of the cholinergic marker ChAT in two brain regions that have prominent cholinergic innervation.

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