Reversal of age-associated memory impairment by rosuvastatin in rats
Increased levels of iron in brain regions have been reported in neurodegenerative disorders as well as in normal brain aging. We have previously demonstrated that neonatal iron loading induces cognitive impairment in adult rats. Here, we evaluate the effects of neonatal iron treatment on cognition in aged rats. We also investigated the effects of a late subchronic rosuvastatin treatment on iron- and age-induced cognitive deficits. Rats received vehicle or 10.0 mg/kg Fe 2+ orally at postnatal days 12–14. When animals reached the age of 23 months, they received daily intraperitoneal injections of saline or rosuvastatin (0.2 or 2.0 mg/kg) for 21 days. Twenty-four hours after the last injection, they were submitted to novel object recognition training. Retention test sessions were performed 1.5 and 24 h after training, in order to assess short-term and long-term memory, respectively. Results indicated that aged animals that received iron in the neonatal period showed more severe memory deficits than vehicle-treated ones, suggesting that iron potentiates age-associated memory impairments. Rosuvastatin improved recognition memory deficits associated with iron loading and aging, providing evidence that statins may be considered for the treatment of age-associated cognitive decline.