We previously reported cognitive dysfunction in klotho mutant mice. In the present study, we further examined novel mechanisms involved in cognitive impairment in these mice. Significantly decreased janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and signal transducer and activator of transcription3 (STAT3) phosphorylation were observed in the hippocampus of klotho mutant mice. A selective decrease in protein expression and binding density of the M1 muscarinic cholinergic receptor (M1 mAChR) was observed in these mice. Cholinergic parameters (ie, acetylcholine (ACh), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), and acetylcholinesterase (AChE)) and NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) were significantly impaired in klotho mutant mice. McN-A-343 (McN), an M1 mAChR agonist, significantly attenuated these impairments. AG490 (AG), a JAK2 inhibitor, counteracted the attenuating effects of McN, although AG did not significantly alter the McN-induced effect on AChE. Furthermore, AG significantly inhibited the attenuating effects of McN on decreased NMDAR-dependent LTP, protein kinase C βII, p-ERK, p-CREB, BDNF, and p-JAK2/p-STAT3-expression in klotho mutant mice. In addition, k252a, a BDNF receptor tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) inhibitor, significantly counteracted McN effects on decreased ChAT, ACh, and M1 mAChR and p-JAK2/p-STAT3 expression. McN-induced effects on cognitive impairment in klotho mutant mice were consistently counteracted by either AG or k252a. Our results suggest that inactivation of the JAK2/STAT3 signaling axis and M1 mAChR downregulation play a critical role in cognitive impairment observed in klotho mutant mice.
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