Hunger in the Absence of Caloric Restriction Improves Cognition and Attenuates Alzheimer's Disease Pathology in a Mouse Model

Emily J. Dhurandhar, David B. Allison, Thomas van Groen, Inga Kadish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

It has been shown that caloric restriction (CR) delays aging and possibly delays the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We conjecture that the mechanism may involve interoceptive cues, rather than reduced energy intake per se. We determined that hunger alone, induced by a ghrelin agonist, reduces AD pathology and improves cognition in the APP-SwDI mouse model of AD. Long-term treatment with a ghrelin agonist was sufficient to improve the performance in the water maze. The treatment also reduced levels of amyloid beta (Aβ) and inflammation (microglial activation) at 6 months of age compared to the control group, similar to the effect of CR. Thus, a hunger-inducing drug attenuates AD pathology, in the absence of CR, and the neuroendocrine aspects of hunger also prevent age-related cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60437
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2 2013

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