The Histochemical Journal

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 71–77 | Cite as

The Drug Cerebrolysin and its Peptide Fraction E021 Increase the Abundance of the Blood–brain Barrier GLUT1 Glucose Transporter in Brains of Young and Old Rats

  • Andrea Gschanes
  • Ruben Boado
  • Wolfgang Sametz
  • Manfred Windisch


The brain-derived peptidergic drug Cerebrolysin has been found to support the survival of neurons in vitro and in vivo. In the present study, we investigated the effects of Cerebrolysin and its peptide preparation E021 on spatial learning and memory, as well as on the abundance of the blood–brain barrier GLUT1 glucose transporter (GLUT1) in 2-month-old and 24-month-old rats. Young rats were treated with the drugs or saline (2.5 ml/kg/day) daily on postnatal days 1–7, and old rats for 19 consecutive days. For behavioural testing the Morris water maze was used. The abundance of GLUT1 was determined in brain slices by immunocytochemistry. Quantification of the density of the GLUT1 immunostaining was performed using light microscopy and a computerised image analysing system. All drug-treated rats, young and old, exhibit shorter escape latencies in the water maze, on all testing days (p>0.01), indicating improved cognitive performance. Immunohistochemical data show an age-related decrease of the density of GLUT1 (p>0.05). In young animals, the administration of the drugs led to an increase of the abundance of GLUT1 in all experimental groups (p>0.01). In old rats, the treatment with Cerebrolysin, but not with E021, resulted in an increase in the immunoreactive GLUT1 (p>0.01).

The elevated abundance of GLUT1 after the administration of both peptidergic substances might be supportive for the cognitive effects of this drug, by causing an improved nutritional supply of glucose to the neurons.


Water Maze Spatial Learning Morris Water Maze Image Analyse System Computerise Image 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Gschanes
    • 1
  • Ruben Boado
    • 2
  • Wolfgang Sametz
    • 2
  • Manfred Windisch
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Experimental PharmacologyResearch Initiative EbeweGrazAustria
  2. 2.Department of Medicine and Brain Research InstituteUCLA School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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