Apigenin Alleviates Autistic-like Stereotyped Repetitive Behaviors and Mitigates Brain Oxidative Stress in Mice

Petrilla Jayaprakash, Dmytro Isaev, Keun Hang Susan Yang, Rami Beiram, Murat Oz, Bassem Sadek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Studying the involvement of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), specifically α7-nAChRs, in neuropsychiatric brain disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has gained a growing interest. The flavonoid apigenin (APG) has been confirmed in its pharmacological action as a positive allosteric modulator of α7-nAChRs. However, there is no research describing the pharmacological potential of APG in ASD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the subchronic systemic treatment of APG (10–30 mg/kg) on ASD-like repetitive and compulsive-like behaviors and oxidative stress status in the hippocampus and cerebellum in BTBR mice, utilizing the reference drug aripiprazole (ARP, 1 mg/kg, i.p.). BTBR mice pretreated with APG (20 mg/kg) or ARP (1 mg/g, i.p.) displayed significant improvements in the marble-burying test (MBT), cotton-shredding test (CST), and self-grooming test (SGT) (all p < 0.05). However, a lower dose of APG (10 mg/kg, i.p.) failed to modulate behaviors in the MBT or SGT, but significantly attenuated the increased shredding behaviors in the CST of tested mice. Moreover, APG (10–30 mg/kg, i.p.) and ARP (1 mg/kg) moderated the disturbed levels of oxidative stress by mitigating the levels of catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the hippocampus and cerebellum of treated BTBR mice. In patch clamp studies in hippocampal slices, the potency of choline (a selective agonist of α7-nAChRs) in activating fast inward currents was significantly potentiated following incubation with APG. Moreover, APG markedly potentiated the choline-induced enhancement of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents. The observed results propose the potential therapeutic use of APG in the management of ASD. However, further preclinical investigations in additional models and different rodent species are still needed to confirm the potential relevance of the therapeutic use of APG in ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number482
JournalPharmaceuticals
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Keywords

  • apigenin
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • BTBR mice
  • electrophysiology
  • hippocampal brain slices
  • nicotinic α7-nACh receptors
  • oxidative stress
  • positive allosteric modulator
  • social features

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery

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