Early Life Exposure to C16-Ceramide Improves Learning and Short-Term Memory Behavior during Adulthood in Mice

Chia Min Yeh, Yun Ya Sun, Ting Yu Chen, Yu Hung, Guan Chiun Lee, Wen Chin Yang, Yenshou Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Ceramides, structural components of the cell, are known to play a range of roles in glucose metabolism and apoptosis. C16-ceramide, an abundant molecular species of endogenous ceramide, has not had its influence on learning and memory explored. We administered C16-ceramide to mice immediately after weaning and examined the learning and memory behavior of these mice during adulthood. Mice given C16-ceramide early in life showed improved adult learning/short-term memory behavior without affecting their glucose metabolism. Looking for a plausible mechanism for this, we found that calcium influx, CaMKII/CREB, and the Erk-relevant signaling transduction are increased after C16-ceramide stimulation in primary neurons in vitro. Possible downstream epigenetic molecular events, such as H3K4 methylation and Egr-1 abundance, were also found to be upregulated. Utilizing J20 mice, an Alzheimer disease mice model in which mice were injected after weaning with C16-ceramide, we found that these mice also show improved learning and short-term memory behavior when assessed by the Morris water maze test. Taken together, giving C16-ceramide early in life would seem to benefit learning and short-term memory behavior during adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • C-ceramide
  • CaMKII
  • Erk
  • J20 mice
  • learning and memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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