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Small molecule cognitive enhancer reverses age-related memory decline in mice

By Karen Krukowski, Amber Nolan, Elma S Frias, Morgane Boone, Gonzalo Ureta, Katherine Grue, Maria-Serena Paladini, Edward Elizarraras, Luz Delgado, Sebastian Bernales, Peter Walter, Susanna Rosi

Posted 15 Apr 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.13.039677

With increased life expectancy age-associated cognitive decline becomes a growing concern, even in the absence of recognizable neurodegenerative disease. The integrated stress response (ISR) is activated during aging and contributes to age-related brain phenotypes. We demonstrate that treatment with the drug-like small-molecule ISR inhibitor ISRIB reverses ISR activation in the brain, as indicated by decreased levels of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and phosphorylated eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF2. Furthermore, ISRIB treatment reverses spatial memory deficits and ameliorates working memory in old mice. At the cellular level in the hippocampus, ISR inhibition i) rescues intrinsic neuronal electrophysiological properties, ii) restores spine density and iii) reduces immune profiles, specifically interferon and T cell-mediated responses. Thus, pharmacological interference with the ISR emerges as a promising intervention strategy for combating age-related cognitive decline in otherwise healthy individuals. ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY Inhibition of the integrated stress response restores neuronal and immune dysfunction and alleviates memory deficits in aged mice. ### Competing Interest Statement SB is an employee of Praxis Biotech. SB, GU and LD work at Fundacion Ciencia & Vida and receive partial funding from Praxis Biotech. P.W. is an inventor on U.S. Patent 9708247 held by the Regents of the University of California that describes ISRIB and its analogs. Rights to the invention have been licensed by UCSF to Calico. P.W. is a consultant for Praxis Biotech LLC and Black Belt TX Limited. The authors declare no other competing interests.

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