High dose of dexamethasone protects against EAE-induced motor deficits but impairs learning/memory in C57BL/6 mice

Nilton Dos Santos, Leonardo S Novaes, Guilherme Dragunas, Jennifer R Rodrigues, Wesley Brandão, Rosana Camarini, Jean Pierre Schatzmann Peron, Carolina Demarchi Munhoz

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Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune and neuroinflammatory disease characterized by demyelination of the Central Nervous System. Immune cells activation and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines play a crucial role in the disease modulation, decisively contributing to the neurodegeneration observed in MS and the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the widely used MS animal model. Synthetic glucocorticoids, commonly used to treat the MS attacks, have controversial effects on neuroinflammation and cognition. We sought to verify the influence of dexamethasone (DEX) on the EAE progression and on EAE-induced cognitive deficits. In myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide (MOG35-55)-induced EAE female mice, treated once with DEX (50 mg/kg) or not, on the day of immunization, DEX decreased EAE-induced motor clinical scores, infiltrating cells in the spinal cord and delayed serum corticosterone peak. At the asymptomatic phase (8-day post-immunization), DEX did not protected from the EAE-induced memory consolidation deficits, which were accompanied by increased glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activity and decreased EGR-1 expression in the hippocampus. Blunting hippocampal GR genomic activation with DnGR vectors prevented DEX effects on EAE-induced memory impairment. These data suggest that, although DEX improves clinical signs, it decreases cognitive and memory capacity by diminishing neuronal activity and potentiating some aspects of neuroinflammation in EAE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6673
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30-Apr-2019

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