Psychopharmacology, 2017, Vol.234(4), pp.535-547
Rationale Development of new drugs for treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) requires valid paradigms for testing their efficacy and sensitive tests validated in translational research. Objectives We present validation of a place-navigation task, a Hidden Goal Task (HGT) based on the Morris water maze (MWM), in comparable animal and human protocols. Methods We used scopolamine to model cognitive dysfunction similar to that seen in AD and donepezil, a symptomatic medication for AD, to assess its potential reversible effect on this scopolamine-induced cognitive dysfunction. We tested the effects of scopolamine and the combination of scopolamine and donepezil on place navigation and compared their effects in human and rat versions of the HGT. Place navigation testing consisted of 4 sessions of HGT performed at baseline, 2, 4, and 8 h after dosing in humans or 1, 2.5, and 5 h in rats. Results Scopolamine worsened performance in both animals and humans. In the animal experiment, co-administration of donepezil alleviated the negative effect of scopolamine. In the human experiment, subjects co-administered with scopolamine and donepezil performed similarly to subjects on placebo and scopolamine, indicating a partial ameliorative effect of donepezil. Conclusions In the task based on the MWM, scopolamine impaired place navigation, while co-administration of donepezil alleviated this effect in comparable animal and human protocols. Using scopolamine and donepezil to challenge place navigation testing can be studied concurrently in animals and humans and may be a valid and reliable model for translational research, as well as for preclinical and clinical phases of drug trials.
Spatial orientation ; Scopolamine ; Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor ; Human ; Rat
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