Long-lasting rescue of age-associated deficits in cognition and the CNS cholinergic phenotype by a partial agonist peptidomimetic ligand of TrkA. Academic Article uri icon


  • Previously, we developed a proteolytically stable small molecule peptidomimetic termed D3 as a selective ligand of the extracellular domain of the TrkA receptor for the NGF. Ex vivo D3 was defined as a selective, partial TrkA agonist. Here, the in vivo efficacy of D3 as a potential therapeutic for cholinergic neurons was tested in cognitively impaired aged rats, and we compared the consequence of partial TrkA activation (D3) versus full TrkA/p75 activation (NGF). We show that in vivo D3 binds to TrkA receptors and affords a significant and long-lived phenotypic rescue of the cholinergic phenotype both in the cortex and in the nucleus basalis. The cholinergic rescue was selective and correlates with a significant improvement of memory/learning in cognitively impaired aged rats. The effects of the synthetic ligand D3 and the natural ligand NGF were comparable. Small, proteolytically stable ligands with selective agonistic activity at a growth factor receptor may have therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative disorders.

published proceedings

  • J Neurosci

altmetric score

  • 9

author list (cited authors)

  • Bruno, M. A., Clarke, P., Seltzer, A., Quirion, R., Burgess, K., Cuello, A. C., & Saragovi, H. U.

citation count

  • 78

complete list of authors

  • Bruno, Martin A||Clarke, Paul BS||Seltzer, Alicia||Quirion, RĂ©mi||Burgess, Kevin||Cuello, A Claudio||Saragovi, H Uri

publication date

  • September 2004