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Prolonged treatment with α-glycerylphosphorylethanolamine facilitates the acquisition of an active avoidance behavior and selectively increases neuronal signal transduction in rats


The effects of α-glycerylphosphorylethanolamine on both behavioral and neurochemical parameters were studied in adult rats. Daily administration of the drug caused a significant improvement in the behavioral performance of rats in the active avoidance conditioning test. This effect was observed after about ten days of treatment, and lasted until the end of the experiment (fifteen days). The improvement in this memory-related behavioral test correlated with a facilitation of both muscarinic and β-adrenergic stimulation of brain adenylyl cyclase activity. Conversely, no changes were observed in basal or forskolin-induced stimulation of cAMP production, suggesting that the α-glycerylphosphorylethanolamine effects were not directed on the enzyme itself, but might favor the coupling between receptors, G proteins and effectors. Similar results were observed on the muscarinic stimulation of inositol phosphate accumulation although, in this case, a potentiation of the basal activity also occurred. In conclusion, our data indicate that daily treatment with α-glycerylphosphorylethanolamine improves the learning and memory processes in the rat, evaluated using the active avoidance conditioning test. Furthermore, the subchronic administration of this compound is able to enhance receptor-mediated neuronal signal transduction, namely cAMP and inositol phosphate production. These neurochemical modifications may represent, at least in part, the molecular mechanisms of action of the drug.

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Correspondence to G. Schettini M.D..

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Florio, T., Bajetto, A., Thellung, S. et al. Prolonged treatment with α-glycerylphosphorylethanolamine facilitates the acquisition of an active avoidance behavior and selectively increases neuronal signal transduction in rats. Aging Clin Exp Res 11, 335–342 (1999).

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Key words

  • cAMP
  • inositol phosphate
  • L-α-glyceryl-phosphorylethanolamine
  • learning and memory