Timing of Treatment with the Flavonoid 7,8-DHF Critically Impacts on Its Effects on Learning and Memory in the Ts65Dn Mouse.


Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy. [Email]


No therapies currently exist for intellectual disability in Down syndrome (DS). In view of its similarities with DS, including learning and memory (L&M) defects, the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS is widely used for the design of therapy. 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF), a flavonoid that targets the tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) receptor of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), exerts positive effects in various brain disease models. Based on previous demonstration that administration of 7,8-DHF in the postnatal period P3-P15 restores hippocampal neurogenesis and spinogenesis, we sought to establish whether these effects translate into behavioral benefits after treatment cessation. We found that Ts65Dn mice treated with 7,8-DHF (5.0 mg/kg/day) during postnatal days P3-P15 did not show any L&M improvement at one month after treatment cessation, indicating that the effects of 7,8-DHF on the brain are ephemeral. Based on evidence that chronic treatment with 7,8-DHF in juvenile Ts65Dn mice restores L&M, we sought to establish whether a similar effect is elicited in adulthood. We found that Ts65Dn mice treated with 7,8-DHF (5.0 mg/kg/day) for about 40 days starting from 4 months of age did not show any improvement in L&M. The results suggest that timing of therapy with 7,8-DHF is a critical issue for attainment of positive effects on the brain.


7,8-dihydroxyflavone,Cognitive impairment,Down syndrome,Flavonoids,Learning and memory,Therapy,Ts65Dn mouse,

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