Neurochemical Research

, 35:162 | Cite as

Lipoic Acid Increases Hippocampal Choline Acetyltransferase and Acetylcholinesterase Activities and Improvement Memory in Epileptic Rats

Original Paper


In the present study we investigated the effect of seizures on rat performance in the Morris water maze task, as well as on choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities in rat hippocampus. Wistar rats were treated with 0.9% saline (i.p., control group), lipoic acid (20 mg/kg, i.p., LA group), pilocarpine (400 mg/kg, i.p., pilocarpine group), and the association of LA (20 mg/kg, i.p.) plus pilocarpine (400 mg/kg, i.p.), 30 min before of administration of LA (LA plus pilocarpine group). After the treatments all groups were observed for 1 h. The effect of lipoic acid administration was observed on reference and working spatial memory of seized rats. The ChAT and AChE activities were measured using spectrophotometric methods and the results compared to values obtained from saline and pilocarpine-treated animals. Its activity was also determined after behavioral task. Results showed that pretreatment with lipoic acid did not alter reference memory when compared to saline-treated animals. In the working memory task, we observed a significant day’s effect with significant differences between control and pilocarpine-induced seizures and pretreated animals with lipoic acid. In LA plus pilocarpine group was observed a significantly increased in ChAT and AChE activities, when compared to pilocarpine group. Results showed that acute administration of lipoic acid alone did not alter hippocampal ChAT and AChE activities. Our findings suggest that seizures caused cognitive dysfunction and a decrease of ChAT and AChE activities that might be related, at least in part, to the neurological problems presented by epileptic patients. Lipoic acid can reverse cognitive dysfunction observed in seized rats as well as increase the ChAT and AChE activities in hippocampus of rats prior to pilocarpine-induced seizures, suggesting that this antioxidant could be used in clinic treatment of epilepsy.


Lipoic acid Seizures Pilocarpine Memory Morris water maze Choline acetyltransferase Acetylcholinesterase 



We would like to thank Stenio Gardel Maia for her technical assistance. This work was supported in part by grants from CNPq, Brazil.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Physiology and PharmacologyFederal University of PiauiPicosBrazil

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