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Abstract

Cognitive impairments in Huntington's disease (HD) are attributed to a dysfunction of the cortico-striatal pathway and significantly affect the quality of life of the patients, but this has not been a therapeutic focus in HD to date. We postulated that adenosine A(2A) receptors (A(2A)R), located at pre- and post-synaptic elements of the cortico-striatal pathways, modulate striatal neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity and cognitive behaviors. To critically evaluate the ability of A(2A)R inactivation to prevent cognitive deficits in early HD, we cross-bred A(2A)R knockout (1(0) mice with two R6/2 transgenic lines of HD (CAG120 and CAG240) to generate two double transgenic R6/2-CAG120-A(2A)R KO and R6/2-CAG240-A(2A)R KO mice and their corresponding wild-type (WT) littermates. Genetic inactivation of A(2A)R prevented working memory deficits induced by R6/2-CAG120 at post-natal week 6 and by R6/2-CAG240 at post-natal month 2 and post-natal month 3, without modifying motor deficits. Similarly the A(2A)R antagonist KW6002 selectively reverted working memory deficits in R6/2-CAG240 mice at post-natal month 3. The search for possible mechanisms indicated that the genetic inactivation of A(2A)R did not affect ubiquitin-positive neuronal inclusions, astrogliosis or Thr-75 phosphorylation of DARPP-32 in the striatum. Importantly, A(2A)R blockade preferentially controlled long-term depression at cortico-striatal synapses in R6/2-CAG240 at post-natal week 6. The reported reversal of working memory deficits in R6/2 mice by the genetic and pharmacological inactivation of A(2A)R provides a proof-of-principle for A(2A)R as novel targets to reverse cognitive deficits in HD, likely by controlling LTD deregulation. (C) 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc.

Authors

Li, Wei;  Silva, Henrique B.;  Real, Joana;  Wang, Yu-Mei;  Rial, Daniel;  Li, Ping;  Payen, Marie-Pierce;  Zhou, Yuanguo;  Muller, Christa E.;  Tome, Angelo R.;  Cunha, Rodrigo A.;  Chen, Jiang-Fan

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