PKCepsilon increases endothelin converting enzyme activity and reduces amyloid plaque pathology in transgenic mice.
ABSTRACT: Deposition of plaques containing amyloid beta (Abeta) peptides is a neuropathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here we demonstrate that neuronal overexpression of the epsilon isozyme of PKC decreases Abeta levels, plaque burden, and plaque-associated neuritic dystrophy and reactive astrocytosis in transgenic mice expressing familial AD-mutant forms of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP). Compared with APP singly transgenic mice, APP/PKCepsilon doubly transgenic mice had decreased Abeta levels but showed no evidence for altered cleavage of APP. Instead, PKCepsilon overexpression selectively increased the activity of endothelin-converting enzyme, which degrades Abeta. The activities of other Abeta-degrading enzymes, insulin degrading enzyme and neprilysin, were unchanged. These results indicate that increased neuronal PKCepsilon activity can promote Abeta clearance and reduce AD neuropathology through increased endothelin-converting enzyme activity.
Project description:Pathophysiologic hypotheses for Alzheimer's disease (AD) are centered on the role of the amyloid plaque Abeta peptide and the mechanism of its derivation from the amyloid precursor protein (APP). As part of the disease process, an aberrant axonal sprouting response is known to occur near Abeta deposits. A Nogo to Nogo-66 receptor (NgR) pathway contributes to determining the ability of adult CNS axons to extend after traumatic injuries. Here, we consider the potential role of NgR mechanisms in AD. Both Nogo and NgR are mislocalized in AD brain samples. APP physically associates with the NgR. Overexpression of NgR decreases Abeta production in neuroblastoma culture, and targeted disruption of NgR expression increases transgenic mouse brain Abeta levels, Abeta plaque deposition, and dystrophic neurites. Infusion of a soluble NgR fragment reduces Abeta levels, amyloid plaque deposits, and dystrophic neurites in a mouse transgenic AD model. Changes in NgR level produce parallel changes in secreted APPalpha and Abeta, implicating NgR as a blocker of secretase processing of APP. The NgR provides a novel site for modifying the course of AD and highlights the role of axonal dysfunction in the disease.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the major cause of dementia in the elderly, leading to memory loss and cognitive decline. The mechanism underlying onset of the disease has not been fully elucidated. However, characteristic pathological manifestations include extracellular accumulation and aggregation of the amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) into plaques and intracellular accumulation and aggregation of hyperphosphorylated tau, forming neurofibrillary tangles. Despite extensive research worldwide, no disease modifying treatment is yet available. In this review, we focus on gene therapy as a potential treatment for AD, and summarize recent work in the field, ranging from proof-of-concept studies in animal models to clinical trials. The multifactorial causes of AD offer a variety of possible targets for gene therapy, including two neurotrophic growth factors, nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Abeta-degrading enzymes, such as neprilysin, endothelin-converting enzyme and cathepsin B, and AD associated apolipoprotein E. This review also discusses advantages and drawbacks of various rapidly developing virus-mediated gene delivery techniques for gene therapy. Finally, approaches aiming at down-regulating amyloid precursor protein (APP) and beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 levels by means of siRNA-mediated knockdown are briefly summarized. Overall, the prospects appear hopeful that gene therapy has the potential to be a disease modifying treatment for AD.
Project description:Animal models aim to replicate the symptoms, the lesions or the cause(s) of Alzheimer disease. Numerous mouse transgenic lines have now succeeded in partially reproducing its lesions: the extracellular deposits of Abeta peptide and the intracellular accumulation of tau protein. Mutated human APP transgenes result in the deposition of Abeta peptide, similar but not identical to the Abeta peptide of human senile plaque. Amyloid angiopathy is common. Besides the deposition of Abeta, axon dystrophy and alteration of dendrites have been observed. All of the mutations cause an increase in Abeta 42 levels, except for the Arctic mutation, which alters the Abeta sequence itself. Overexpressing wild-type APP alone (as in the murine models of human trisomy 21) causes no Abeta deposition in most mouse lines. Doubly (APP x mutated PS1) transgenic mice develop the lesions earlier. Transgenic mice in which BACE1 has been knocked out or overexpressed have been produced, as well as lines with altered expression of neprilysin, the main degrading enzyme of Abeta. The APP transgenic mice have raised new questions concerning the mechanisms of neuronal loss, the accumulation of Abeta in the cell body of the neurons, inflammation and gliosis, and the dendritic alterations. They have allowed some insight to be gained into the kinetics of the changes. The connection between the symptoms, the lesions and the increase in Abeta oligomers has been found to be difficult to unravel. Neurofibrillary tangles are only found in mouse lines that overexpress mutated tau or human tau on a murine tau -/- background. A triply transgenic model (mutated APP, PS1 and tau) recapitulates the alterations seen in AD but its physiological relevance may be discussed. A number of modulators of Abeta or of tau accumulation have been tested. A transgenic model may be analyzed at three levels at least (symptoms, lesions, cause of the disease), and a reading key is proposed to summarize this analysis.
Project description:Here we present the ascidian Ciona intestinalis as an alternative invertebrate system to study Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Through the use of AD animal models, researchers often attempt to reproduce various aspects of the disease, particularly the coordinated processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by alpha-, beta- and gamma-secretases to generate amyloid beta (Abeta)-containing plaques. Recently, Drosophila and C. elegans AD models have been developed, exploiting the relative simplicity of these invertebrate systems, but they lack a functional Abeta sequence and a beta-secretase ortholog, thus complicating efforts to examine APP processing in vivo. We propose that the ascidian is a more appropriate invertebrate AD model owing to their phylogenetic relationship with humans. This is supported by bioinformatic analyses, which indicate that the ascidian genome contains orthologs of all AD-relevant genes. We report that transgenic ascidian larvae can properly process human APP(695) to generate Abeta peptides. Furthermore, Abeta can rapidly aggregate to form amyloid-like plaques, and plaque deposition is significantly increased in larvae expressing a human APP(695) variant associated with familial Alzheimer's disease. We also demonstrate that nervous system-specific Abeta expression alters normal larval behavior during attachment. Importantly, plaque formation and alterations in behavior are not only observed within 24 hours post-fertilization, but anti-amyloid drug treatment improves these AD-like pathologies. This ascidian model for AD provides a powerful and rapid system to study APP processing, Abeta plaque formation and behavioral alterations, and could aid in identifying factors that modulate amyloid deposition and the associated disruption of normal cellular function and behaviors.
Project description:Metabolites of neural cells, is known to have a significant effect on the normal physiology and function of neurons in brain. However, whether they play a role in pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases is unknown. Here, we show that metabolites of neurons play essential role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Firstly, in vivo and in vitro metabolites of cerebellar neurons both significantly induced the expression of Abeta-degrading enzymes in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex and promoted Abeta clearance. Moreover, metabolites of cerebellar neurons significantly reduced brain Abeta levels and reversed cognitive impairments and other AD-like phenotypes of APP/PS1 transgenic mice, in both early and late stages of AD pathology. On the other hand, metabolites of hippocampal neurons reduced the expression of Abeta-degrading enzymes in the cerebellum and caused cerebellar neurodegeneration in APP/PS1 transgenic mice. Thus, we report, for the first time, that metabolites of neurons not only are required for maintaining the normal physiology of neurons but also play essential role in the pathogenesis of AD and may be responsible for the regional-specificity of Abeta deposition and AD pathology.
Project description:Extracellular senile plaques of amyloid beta (Abeta) are a pathological hallmark in brain of patients with Alzheimer`s Disease (AD). Abeta is generated by the amyloidogenic processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Concomitant to Abeta load, AD brain is characterized by an increase in protein level and activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). ACE inhibitors are a widely used class of drugs with established benefits for patients with cardiovascular disease. However, the role of ACE and ACE inhibition in the development of Abeta plaques and the process of AD-related neurodegeneration is not clear since ACE was reported to degrade Abeta. To investigate the effect of ACE inhibition on AD-related pathomechanisms, we used Tg2576 mice with neuron-specific expression of APPSwe as AD model. From 12 months of age, substantial Abeta plaque load accumulates in the hippocampus of Tg2576 mice as a brain region, which is highly vulnerable to AD-related neurodegeneration. The effect of central ACE inhibition was studied by treatment of 12 month-old Tg2576 mice for six months with the brain penetrating ACE inhibitor captopril. At an age of 18 months, hippocampal gene expression profiling was performed of captopril-treated Tg2576 mice relative to untreated 18 month-old Tg2576 controls with high Abeta plaque load. As an additional control, we used 12 month-old Tg2576 mice with low Abeta plaque load. Whole genome microarray gene expression profiling revealed gene expression changes induced by the brain-penetrating ACE inhibitor captopril, which could reflect the neuro-regenerative potential of central ACE inhibition. Microarray gene expression profiling was performed of hippocampi isolated from aged, 18 month-old Tg2576 (APPSwe-transgenic) AD mice with high Abeta plaque load relative to age-matched Tg2576 mice, which were treated for 6 months with the centrally active ACE inhibitor captopril. Another study group consisted of 12 month-old Tg2576 mice with low Abeta plaque load. In total, three study groups were analyzed, i.e. (i) 18 month-old untreated Tg2576 mice with high Abeta plaque load, (ii) age-matched Tg2576 mice treated for 6 months with the brain-penetrating ACE inhibitor captopril (20 mg/kg body weight/day in drinking water), and (iii) untreated 12 month-old Tg2576 mice with low Abeta plaque load reflecting the time point when captopril treatment was initiated. Two biological replicates were made of each group, and total hippocampal RNA of four mice was pooled for one gene chip.
Project description:Imaging agents targeting beta-amyloid (Abeta) may be useful for diagnosis and treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Compounds 3e and 4e are fluorinated stilbene derivatives displaying high binding affinities for Abeta plaques in AD brain homogenates (Ki = 15 +/- 6 and 5.0 +/- 1.2 nM, respectively). In vivo biodistributions of [18F]3e and [18F]4e in normal mice exhibited excellent brain penetrations (5.55 and 9.75% dose/g at 2 min), and rapid brain washouts were observed, especially for [18F]4e (0.72% dose/g at 60 min). They also showed in vivo plaque labeling in APP/PS1 or Tg2576 transgenic mice, animal models for AD. Autoradiography of postmortem AD brain sections and AD homogenate binding studies confirmed the selective and specific binding properties to Abeta plaques. In conclusion, the preliminary results strongly suggest that these fluorinated stilbene derivatives, [18F]3e and [18F]4e, are suitable candidates as Abeta plaque imaging agents for studying patients with AD.
Project description:Accumulation of aggregated amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide was studied as an initial step for Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Following amyloid plaque formation, reactive microglia and astrocytes accumulate around plaques and cause neuroinflammation. Here brain chemokines play a major role for the glial accumulation. We have previously shown that transgenic overexpression of chemokine CCL2 in the brain results in increased microglial accumulation and diffuse amyloid plaque deposition in a transgenic mouse model of AD expressing Swedish amyloid precursor protein (APP) mutant. Here, we report that adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotype 1 and 2 hybrid efficiently deliver 7ND gene, a dominant-negative CCL2 mutant, in a dose-response manner and express >1,000-fold higher recombinant CCL2 than basal levels after a single administration. AAV1/2 hybrid virus principally infected neurons without neuroinflammation with sustained expression for 6-months. 7ND expressed in APP/presenilin-1 (APP/PS1) bigenic mice reduced astro/microgliosis, beta-amyloidosis, including suppression of both fibrillar and oligomer Abeta accumulation, and improved spatial learning. Our data support the idea that the AAV1/2 system is a useful tool for CNS gene delivery, and suppression of CCL2 may be a therapeutic target for the amelioration of AD-related neuroinflammation.
Project description:The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway potentially links together the three major pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD): development of amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and brain atrophy. As activation of the JNK pathway has been observed in amyloid models of AD in association with peri-plaque regions and neuritic dystrophy, as we confirm here for Tg2576/PS(M146L) transgenic mice, we directly tested whether JNK inhibition could provide neuroprotection in a novel brain slice model for amyloid precursor protein (APP)-induced neurodegeneration. We found that APP/amyloid beta (Abeta)-induced neurodegeneration is blocked by both small molecule and peptide inhibitors of JNK, and provide evidence that this neuroprotection occurs downstream of APP/Abeta production and processing. Our findings demonstrate that Abeta can induce neurodegeneration, at least in part, through the JNK pathway and suggest that inhibition of JNK may be of therapeutic utility in the treatment of AD.
Project description:Soluble oligomers of the amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide are thought to play a key role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently, we reported that synthetic Abeta oligomers bind to cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) and that this interaction is required for suppression of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices by oligomeric Abeta peptide. We hypothesized that PrP(C) is essential for the ability of brain-derived Abeta to suppress cognitive function. Here, we crossed familial AD transgenes encoding APPswe and PSen1DeltaE9 into Prnp-/- mice to examine the necessity of PrP(C) for AD-related phenotypes. Neither APP expression nor Abeta level is altered by PrP(C) absence in this transgenic AD model, and astrogliosis is unchanged. However, deletion of PrP(C) expression rescues 5-HT axonal degeneration, loss of synaptic markers, and early death in APPswe/PSen1DeltaE9 transgenic mice. The AD transgenic mice with intact PrP(C) expression exhibit deficits in spatial learning and memory. Mice lacking PrP(C), but containing Abeta plaque derived from APPswe/PSen1DeltaE9 transgenes, show no detectable impairment of spatial learning and memory. Thus, deletion of PrP(C) expression dissociates Abeta accumulation from behavioral impairment in these AD mice, with the cognitive deficits selectively requiring PrP(C).