Cerebral ischemia resulting from transient or permanent cerebral artery occlusion leads to neuronal cell death, and eventually causes neurological impairments. Tadalafil (Cialis®) is a long-acting phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor used to treat erectile dysfunction. The therapeutic effects of PDE-5 inhibitors on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, prostate hyperplasia, hypertension, and coronary heart disease have been reported. The present study investigated the effects of tadalafil on short-term memory, cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) level, apoptotic neuronal cell death, and cell proliferation in the hippocampus following transient global ischemia in gerbils. For this study, a step-down avoidance task, cGMP assay, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling assay, and immunohistochemistry for caspase-3 and 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine were performed. The results revealed that ischemic injury increased apoptotic neuronal cell death in the hippocampal CA1 region, impaired short-term memory, and decreased cGMP level. Ischemic injury enhanced cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Tadalafil treatment improved short-term memory by suppressing ischemia-induced apoptotic neuronal cell death in the hippocampal CA1 region, and decreased cGMP level. Also, tadalafil suppressed the ischemia-induced increase in cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. We showed that tadalafil can overcome ischemia-induced apoptotic neuronal cell death, thus facilitates recovery following ischemic cerebral injury.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the MIC (Ministry of Information and Communication), Korea, under the ITRC (Information Technology Research Center) support program supervised by the IITA (Institute of Information Technology Advancement) (IITA-2008-(C1090-0801-0002)).
- Cell proliferation
- Cerebral ischemia
- Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor
- Short-term memory
- cGMP level
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biological Psychiatry
- Behavioral Neuroscience