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Ferulic acid attenuates diabetes-induced cognitive impairment in rats via regulation of PTP1B and insulin signaling pathway

Wang, Hao, Sun, Xiaoxu, Zhang, Ning, Ji, Zhouye, Ma, Zhanqiang, Fu, Qiang, Qu, Rong, Ma, Shiping
Physiology & behavior 2017 v.182 pp. 93-100
Alzheimer disease, animal disease models, blood glucose, body weight, cognition, cognitive disorders, cytokines, diabetes mellitus, diet, ferulic acid, hippocampus, insulin, memory, neurodegenerative diseases, neuroprotective effect, phosphorylation, protein-tyrosine-phosphatase, rats, risk factors, signal transduction, streptozotocin
Cognitive impairment has been recognized as a typical characteristic of neurodegenerative disease in diabetes mellitus (DM) and this cognitive dysfunction may be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Ferulic acid, a phenolic compound commonly found in a range of plants, has emerged various properties including anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. In the present study, the protective activities and relevant mechanisms of ferulic acid were evaluated in diabetic rats with cognitive deficits, which were induced by a high-glucose-fat (HGF) diet and low dose of streptozotocin (STZ). It was observed that ferulic acid significantly increased body weight and decreased blood glucose levels. Meanwhile, ferulic acid could markedly ameliorate spatial memory of diabetic rats in Morris water maze (MWM) and decrease AD-like pathologic changes (Aβ deposition and Tau phosphorylation) in the hippocampus, which might be correlated with the inhibition of inflammatory cytokines release and reduction of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) expression. Moreover, the levels of brain insulin signal molecules p-IRS, p-Akt and p-GSK3β were also investigated. We found that ferulic acid administration restored the alterations in insulin signaling. In conclusion, ferulic acid exhibited beneficial effects on diabetes-induced cognition lesions, which was involved in the regulation of PTP1B and insulin signaling pathway. We suppose that PTP1B inhibition may represent a promising approach to correct abnormal signaling linked to diabetes-induced cognitive impairment.