Effect of cholecystokinin on learning and memory, neuronal proliferation and apoptosis in the rat hippocampus


1 Department of Physiology; Biosensor Research Center; Physiology Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Physiology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 School of Dentistry, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Cholecystokinin (CCK) has roles in learning and memory, but the cellular mechanism is poorly understood. This study investigated the effect of CCK on spatial learning and memory, neuronal proliferation and apoptosis in the hippocampus in rats.
Materials and Methods: Experimental groups were control and CCK. The rats received CKK octapeptide sulfated (CCK-8S, 1.6 μg/kg, i.p.) for 14 days. Spatial learning and memory were tested by Morris water maze and finally immunohistochemical study was performed; neurogenesis by Ki-67 method and apoptosis by Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP Nick End Labeling (TUNEL) assay in hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG).
Results: Cholecystokinin increased Ki-67 positive cells and reduced TUNEL positive cells in the granular layer of hippocampal DG. CCK failed to have a significant effect on spatial learning and memory.
Conclusion: Results indicate neuroprotective and proliferative effects of CCK in the hippocampus; however, other factors are probably involved until the newly born neurons achieve necessary integrity for behavioral changes.


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