Colostrinin, a polypeptide isolated from early milk, facilitates learning and memory in rats.

Author

Popik P, Bobula B, Janusz M, et al.

Date

9/1999

Journal

Pharmacol Biochem Behav.

Abstract

Initial observations in humans indicated that colostrinin, a complex of polypeptides derived from the colostrum of sheep, facilitates cognitive functioning in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Its effect on learning and memory in more controlled settings as well as the specificity of these effects were, however, unknown. The present experiments evaluated the effects of colostrinin on spatial learning (Morris water maze) and incidental memory (habituation test) in male Wistar rats of two age groups. Colostrinin, at a dose of 4 microg/rat IP, facilitated acquisition of spatial learning of 13- (aged) but not 3-month-old (young) rats. At the same dose, it improved incidental learning in aged rats, while the dose of 20 microg/rat attenuated it. Colostrinin did not change locomotor activity of rats. Taken together, the present findings indicate that colostrinin may have some beneficial effects on cognitive functioning, particularly in aged subjects. Given the fact that colostrum is the first nutritive agent of neonates, it might be speculated that its peptides may facilitate the early postnatal development of the cerebral neurons and their plasticity.