The biological cascade of second messenger-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) -as a molecular mechanism implicated in memory and learning regulation has captured the attention of neuroscientists worldwide. It triggers its foremost effector, protein kinase A (PKA), resulting in the activation of innumerable downstream targets. Roflumilast (ROF), a phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, has demonstrated a greater efficiency in enhancing cAMP signaling in various neurological disorders. This study was conducted to identify various downstream targets of PKA as mechanistic tools through which ROF could hinder the progressive cognitive impairment following central streptozotocin (STZ) administration in mice. Animals were injected with STZ (3 mg/kg/i.c.v) once. Five hours later, mice received ROF (0.4 mg/kg) with or without the PKA inhibitor, H89, for 21 days. ROF highly preserved the structure of hippocampal neurons. It improved the ability of mice to develop short-term memories and retrieve spatial memories in Y-maze and Morris water maze tests, respectively. ROF enhanced the gene expression of ABCB1 transporters and pregnane X receptors (PXR), and hampered Aβ accumulation in hippocampus. Simultaneously, it interfered with the processes of tau phosphorylation and nitration. This effect was associated with an upsurge in hippocampal arginase activity as well as a decline in glycogen synthase kinase-3β activity, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity, and inducible NOS expression. Contrariwise, ROF’s beneficial effects were utterly abolished by co-administration of H89. In conclusion, boosting PKA, by ROF, modulated PXR/ABCB1 expression and arginase/NOS activities to restrict the main post-translational modifications of tau, Aβ deposition and, accordingly, cognitive deterioration of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.