The potential involvement of cholinergic system in finasteride induced cognitive dysfunction

Finasteride (100 mg/Kg, s.c.) administration decreased the percent correct choice during the retention trial of the RAM task. This was paralleled by an increase in the number of total number of errors and reference memory errors. In the social interaction test, finasteride (100 mg/Kg, s.c.) administration decreased the time spent with the rat compared to the object, implying decreased sociability and diminished social preference evidenced by similar time spent with the novel and familiar rat. Reduced AChE activity was observed in the frontal cortex, hippocampus and septum. Conclusion: Our study provides evidence that repeated administration of finasteride decreases social interaction and results in cognitive deficits, potentially through a cholinergic mechanism. Further studies are required to understand the exact link between the cognitive effects and the cholinergic system. A deeper probe of the current findings holds promise for the development of novel neurosteroid-based therapeutics to treat affective and cognitive disorders.

Ahire A, Nair KP, Shankaranarayana BS, Srikumar BN. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2020.105066 [Psychoneuroendocrinology]