Rosiglitazone attenuates learning and memory deficits in Tg2576 Alzheimer mice

Ward A. Pedersen, Pamela J. McMillan, J. Jacob Kulstad, James B. Leverenz, Suzanne Craft, Gleb R. Haynatzki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

309 Scopus citations


The thiazolidinediones, such as rosiglitazone, increase peripheral insulin sensitivity and their use is proposed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. However, the mechanisms underlying the potential beneficial effects of rosiglitazone in Alzheimer's disease remain unclear. In previous studies, we observed that Tg2576 Alzheimer mice develop peripheral insulin resistance with age and have much higher serum corticosterone levels than wild-type mice when fasted overnight. We further showed that both of these defects can be ameliorated by rosiglitazone administration. Here, we report that during behavioral testing which involves repetitive overnight fasting, Tg2576 mice administered rosiglitazone exhibited better spatial learning and memory abilities and had lower serum corticosterone levels than untreated Tg2576 mice. When untreated Tg2576 mice were administered metyrapone, a drug that blocks glucocorticoid production, their spatial learning and memory abilities and serum corticosterone levels were similar to those of rosiglitazone-treated mice. We further report here that rosiglitazone attenuated reductions in insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) mRNA and activity, and reduced amyloid β-peptide (Aβ)42 levels without affecting amyloid deposition, in the brains of Tg2576 mice. These results demonstrate that rosiglitazone attenuates learning and memory deficits in Tg2576 mice and suggest that the effects of the drug on learning and memory, brain IDE levels, and brain Aβ42 levels in the mice may be due to its glucocorticoid-lowering actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-273
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Insulin resistance
  • Insulin-degrading enzyme
  • Metyrapone
  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ
  • Stress
  • Thiazolidinedione

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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