Liraglutide has anti-inflammatory and anti-amyloid properties in streptozotocin-induced and 5xFAD mouse models of alzheimer’s disease

Leela Paladugu, Abeer Gharaibeh, Nivya Kolli, Cameron Learman, Tia C. Hall, Lixin Li, Julien Rossignol, Panchanan Maiti, Gary L. Dunbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Recent clinical and epidemiological studies support the contention that diabetes mellitus (DM) is a strong risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The use of insulin cell toxin, streptozotocin (STZ), when injected into the lateral ventricles, develops an insulin resistant brain state (IRBS) and represents a non-transgenic, or sporadic AD model (SAD), with several ADlike neuropathological features. The present study explored the effects of an anti-diabetic drug, liraglutide (LIR), in reversing major pathological hallmarks in the prodromal disease stage of both the 5xFAD transgenic and SAD mouse models of AD. Three-month-old 5xFAD and age-matched wild type mice were given a single intracerebroventricular (i.c.v) injection of STZ or vehicle (saline) and were subsequently treated with LIR, intraperitoneally (IP), once a day for 30 days. The extent of neurodegeneration, Aβ plaque load, and key proteins associated with the insulin signaling pathways were measured using Western blot and neuroinflammation (via immunohistological assays) in the cortical and hippocampal regions of the brain were assessed following a series of behavioral tests used to measure cognitive function after LIR or vehicle treatments. Our results indicated that STZ significantly increased neuroinflammation, Aβ plaque deposition and disrupted insulin signaling pathway, while 25 nmol/kg LIR, when injected IP, significantly decreased neuroinflammatory responses in both SAD and 5xFAD mice before significant cognitive changes were observed, suggesting LIR can reduce early neuropathology markers prior to the emergence of overt memory deficits. Our results indicate that LIR has neuroprotective effects and has the potential to serve as an anti-inflammatory and anti-amyloid prophylactic therapy in the prodromal stages of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number860
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2 2021


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyloid beta protein
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Liraglutide
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Sporadic alzheimer’s disease
  • Streptozotocin


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