Gastrodin Ameliorates Motor Learning Deficits Through Preserving Cerebellar Long-Term Depression Pathways in Diabetic Rats.
Front Neurosci. 2019 ;13:1239. Epub 2019 Nov 22. PMID: 31824244
Cognitive dysfunction is a very severe consequence of diabetes, but the underlying causes are still unclear. Recently, the cerebellum was reported to play an important role in learning and memory. Since long-term depression (LTD) is a primary cellular mechanism for cerebellar motor learning, we aimed to explore the role of cerebellar LTD pathways in diabetic rats and the therapeutic effect of gastrodin. Diabetes was induced by a single injection of streptozotocin into adult Sprague-Dawley rats. Motor learning ability was assessed by a beam walk test. Pathological changes of the cerebellum were assessed by Hematoxylin-Eosin (HE) and Nissl staining. Cellular apoptosis was assessed by anti-caspase-3 immunostaining. Protein expression levels of LTD pathway-related factors, including GluR2, protein kinase C (PKC), NR2A, and nNOS, in the cerebellar cortex were evaluated by western blotting and double immunofluorescence. The NO concentration was measured. The cellular degeneration and the apoptosis of Purkinje cells were evident in the cerebellum of diabetic rats. Protein expression levels of GluR2 (NC9W: 1.26± 0.12; DM9W + S: 0.81 ± 0.07), PKC (NC9W: 1.66 ± 0.10; DM9W + S: 0.58 ± 0.19), NR2A (NC9W: 1.40 ± 0.05; DM9W + S: 0.63 ± 0.06), nNOS (NC9W: 1.26 ± 0.12; DM9W + S: 0.68 ± 0.04), and NO (NC9W: 135.61 ± 31.91; DM9W + S: 64.06 ± 24.01) in the cerebellum were significantly decreased in diabetic rats. Following gastrodin intervention, the outcome of motor learning ability was significantly improved (NC9W: 6.70 ± 3.31; DM9W + S: 20.47 ± 9.43; DM9W + G: 16.04 ± 7.10). In addition, degeneration and apoptosis were ameliorated, and this was coupled with the elevation of the protein expression of the abovementioned biomarkers. Arising from the above, we concluded that gastrodin may contribute to the improvement of motor learning by protecting the LTD pathways in Purkinje cells.