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    The signaling pathways of tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) receptor play a pivotal role in axonal sprouting, proliferation of dendritic arbor, synaptic plasticity, and neuronal differentiation. The levels of BDNF and TrkB receptor were reduced in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The activation of TrkB signaling pathways is a potential strategy for AD therapies. We intended to identify potential TrkB agonists to activate the neuroprotective signaling to alleviate the pathological features of AD mice. Both of the Aβ-deteriorated hippocampal primary neurons and mouse models were generated and showed AD characteristics. We first investigated 12 potential TrkB agonists with primary hippocampal neurons of mice. Both 7,8-DHF and LMDS-1 were identified to have better effect than the other compounds on dendritic arborization of the neurons and were further applied to the Aβ-injected mouse model. The short-term cognitive behavior and pathology in the mice were improved by LMDS-1. Further investigation indicated that LMDS-1 activated the TrkB through phosphorylation at Y516 rather than Y816. In addition, the ERK but not CaMKII or Akt was activated in the mouse hippocampus with LMDS-1 administration. LMDS-1 treatment also upregulated CREB and BDNF while downregulated the GSK3β active form and tau phosphorylation. This study suggests that LMDS-1 upregulates the expression of BDNF and ameliorates the early-phase phenotypes of the AD-like mice through the pTrkB (Y516)-ERK-CREB pathway. In addition, LMDS-1 has better effect than 7,8-DHF in ameliorating the behavioral and pathological features of AD-like mice.

    Citation

    Chia-Hao Fan, Chia-Wei Lin, Hei-Jen Huang, Guey-Jen Lee-Chen, Ying-Chieh Sun, Wenwei Lin, Chiung-Mei Chen, Kuo-Hsuan Chang, Ming-Tsan Su, Hsiu Mei Hsieh-Li. LMDS-1, a potential TrkB receptor agonist provides a safe and neurotrophic effect for early-phase Alzheimer's disease. Psychopharmacology. 2020 Oct;237(10):3173-3190

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    PMID: 32748031

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