Reduction of amyloid angiopathy and Abeta plaque burden after enriched housing in TgCRND8 mice: involvement of multiple pathways.
ABSTRACT: Diversity and intensity of intellectual and physical activities seem to have an inverse relationship with the extent of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). To study the interaction between an active lifestyle and AD pathology, female TgCRND8 mice carrying human APPswe+ind were transferred into enriched housing. Four months of continuous and diversified environmental stimulation resulted in a significant reduction of beta-amyloid (Abeta) plaques and in a lower extent of amyloid angiopathy. Neither human amyloid precursor protein (APP) mRNA/protein levels nor the level of carboxy-terminal fragments of APP nor soluble Abeta content differed between both groups, making alterations in APP expression or processing unlikely as a cause of reduced Abeta deposition. Moreover, DNA microarray analysis revealed simultaneous down-regulation of proinflammatory genes as well as up-regulation of molecules involved in anti-inflammatory processes, proteasomal degradation, and cholesterol binding, possibly explaining reduced Abeta burden by lower aggregation and enhanced clearance of Abeta. Additionally, immunoblotting against F4/80 antigen and morphometric analysis of microglia (Mac-3) revealed significantly elevated microgliosis in the enriched brains, which suggests increased amyloid phagocytosis. In summary, this study demonstrates that the environment interacts with AD pathology at dif-ferent levels.
Project description:Proinflammatory stimuli, after amyloid beta (Abeta) deposition, have been hypothesized to create a self-reinforcing positive feedback loop that increases amyloidogenic processing of the Abeta precursor protein (APP), promoting further Abeta accumulation and neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a proinflammatory cytokine, has been shown to be increased in AD patients implying a pathological interaction. To assess the effects of IL-6 on Abeta deposition and APP processing in vivo, we overexpressed murine IL-6 (mIL-6) in the brains of APP transgenic TgCRND8 and TG2576 mice. mIL-6 expression resulted in extensive gliosis and concurrently attenuated Abeta deposition in TgCRND8 mouse brains. This was accompanied by up-regulation of glial phagocytic markers in vivo and resulted in enhanced microglia-mediated phagocytosis of Abeta aggregates in vitro. Further, mIL-6-induced neuroinflammation had no effect on APP processing in TgCRND8 and had no effect on APP processing or steady-state levels of Abeta in young Tg2576 mice. These results indicate that mIL-6-mediated reactive gliosis may be beneficial early in the disease process by potentially enhancing Abeta plaque clearance rather than mediating a neurotoxic feedback loop that exacerbates amyloid pathology. This is the first study that methodically dissects the contribution of mIL-6 with regard to its potential role in modulating Abeta deposition in vivo.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by neuronal atrophy caused by soluble amyloid beta protein (Abeta) peptide "oligomers" and a microglial-mediated inflammatory response elicited by extensive amyloid deposition in the brain. We show that CNI-1493, a tetravalent guanylhydrazone with established antiinflammatory properties, interferes with Abeta assembly and protects neuronal cells from the toxic effect of soluble Abeta oligomers. Administration of CNI-1493 to TgCRND8 mice overexpressing human amyloid precursor protein (APP) for a treatment period of 8 wk significantly reduced Abeta deposition. CNI-1493 treatment resulted in 70% reduction of amyloid plaque area in the cortex and 87% reduction in the hippocampus of these animals. Administration of CNI-1493 significantly improved memory performance in a cognition task compared with vehicle-treated mice. In vitro analysis of CNI-1493 on APP processing in an APP-overexpressing cell line revealed a significant dose-dependent decrease of total Abeta accumulation. This study indicates that the antiinflammatory agent CNI-1493 can ameliorate the pathophysiology and cognitive defects in a murine model of AD.
Project description:Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), the deposition of beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptides in leptomeningeal and cortical blood vessels, affects the majority of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Evidence suggests that vascular amyloid deposits may result from impaired clearance of neuronal Abeta along perivascular spaces. We investigated the role of perivascular macrophages in regulating CAA severity in the TgCRND8 mouse model of AD. Depletion of perivascular macrophages significantly increased the number of thioflavin S-positive cortical blood vessels. ELISA confirmed that this increase was underscored by elevations in total vascular Abeta(42) levels. Conversely, stimulation of perivascular macrophage turnover reduced cerebral CAA load, an effect that was not mediated through clearance by microglia or astrocytes. These results highlight a function for the physiological role of perivascular macrophages in the regulation of CAA and suggest that selective targeting of perivascular macrophage activation might constitute a therapeutic strategy to clear vascular amyloid.
Project description:Neurons subject to degeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD) exhibit evidence of re-entry into a mitotic cell cycle even before the development of substantial AD brain pathology. In efforts to identify the initiating factors underlying these cell cycle events (CCEs), we have characterized the appearance of the neuronal CCEs in the genomic-based R1.40 transgenic mouse model of AD. Notably, R1.40 mice exhibit neuronal CCEs in a reproducible temporal and spatial pattern that recapitulates the neuronal vulnerability seen in human AD. Neuronal CCEs first appear at 6 months in the frontal cortex layers II/III. This is 6-8 months before detectable amyloid beta (Abeta) deposition, suggesting that specific amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing products are responsible for the induction of neuronal CCEs. Furthermore, a reduction in the levels of Abeta (achieved by shifting the genetic background from C57BL/6 to the DBA/2 mouse strain) dramatically delays the appearance of neuronal CCEs. More significantly, elimination of beta-secretase activity blocks the appearance of CCEs, providing direct genetic evidence that the amyloidogenic processing of APP is required for the induction of CCEs. Finally, in vitro preparations of oligomeric, but not monomeric, Abeta induce DNA synthesis in dissociated cortical neurons, and this response is blocked by antioligomer specific antibodies. Together, our data suggest that low molecular weight aggregates of Abeta induce neuronal cell cycle re-entry in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.
Project description:An additional copy of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene causes early-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) in trisomy 21 (DS). Endosome dysfunction develops very early in DS and AD and has been implicated in the mechanism of neurodegeneration. Here, we show that morphological and functional endocytic abnormalities in fibroblasts from individuals with DS are reversed by lowering the expression of APP or beta-APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE-1) using short hairpin RNA constructs. By contrast, endosomal pathology can be induced in normal disomic (2N) fibroblasts by overexpressing APP or the C-terminal APP fragment generated by BACE-1 (betaCTF), all of which elevate the levels of betaCTFs. Expression of a mutant form of APP that cannot undergo beta-cleavage had no effect on endosomes. Pharmacological inhibition of APP gamma-secretase, which markedly reduced Abeta production but raised betaCTF levels, also induced AD-like endosome dysfunction in 2N fibroblasts and worsened this pathology in DS fibroblasts. These findings strongly implicate APP and the betaCTF of APP, and exclude Abeta and the alphaCTF, as the cause of endocytic pathway dysfunction in DS and AD, underscoring the potential multifaceted value of BACE-1 inhibition in AD therapeutics.
Project description:The proteases (secretases) that cleave amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide from the amyloid precursor protein (APP) have been the focus of considerable investigation in the development of treatments for Alzheimer disease. The prediction has been that reducing Abeta production in the brain, even after the onset of clinical symptoms and the development of associated pathology, will facilitate the repair of damaged tissue and removal of amyloid lesions. However, no long-term studies using animal models of amyloid pathology have yet been performed to test this hypothesis.We have generated a transgenic mouse model that genetically mimics the arrest of Abeta production expected from treatment with secretase inhibitors. These mice overexpress mutant APP from a vector that can be regulated by doxycycline. Under normal conditions, high-level expression of APP quickly induces fulminant amyloid pathology. We show that doxycycline administration inhibits transgenic APP expression by greater than 95% and reduces Abeta production to levels found in nontransgenic mice. Suppression of transgenic Abeta synthesis in this model abruptly halts the progression of amyloid pathology. However, formation and disaggregation of amyloid deposits appear to be in disequilibrium as the plaques require far longer to disperse than to assemble. Mice in which APP synthesis was suppressed for as long as 6 mo after the formation of Abeta deposits retain a considerable amyloid load, with little sign of active clearance.This study demonstrates that amyloid lesions in transgenic mice are highly stable structures in vivo that are slow to disaggregate. Our findings suggest that arresting Abeta production in patients with Alzheimer disease should halt the progression of pathology, but that early treatment may be imperative, as it appears that amyloid deposits, once formed, will require additional intervention to clear.
Project description:Accumulation of senile plaques composed of amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) is a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD), and Abeta is generated through the sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by beta- and gamma-secretase. Although oxidative stress has been implicated in the AD pathogenesis by inducing Abeta production, the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Here we show that the pro-oxidant H(2)O(2) promotes Abeta production through c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent activation of gamma-secretase. Treatment with H(2)O(2) induced significant increase in the levels of intracellular and secreted Abeta in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Although gamma-secretase-mediated cleavage of APP or C99 was enhanced upon H(2)O(2) treatment, expression of APP or its alpha/beta-secretase-mediated cleavage was not affected. Silencing of the stress-activated JNK by small interfering RNA or the specific JNK inhibitor SP600125 reduced H(2)O(2)-induced gamma-secretase-mediated cleavage of APP. JNK activity was augmented in human brain tissues from AD patients and active JNK located surrounding the senile plaques in the brain of AD model mouse. Our data suggest that oxidative stress-activated JNK may contribute to senile plaque expansion through the promotion of gamma-secretase-mediated APP cleavage and Abeta production.
Project description:Down syndrome (DS, trisomy 21) is the most common chromosomal disorder and the leading genetic cause of intellectual disability in humans. In DS, triplication of chromosome 21 invariably includes the APP gene (21q21) encoding the Alzheimer's disease (AD) amyloid precursor protein (APP). Triplication of the APP gene accelerates APP expression leading to cerebral accumulation of APP-derived amyloid-beta peptides (Abeta), early-onset AD neuropathology, and age-dependent cognitive sequelae. The DS phenotype complex also includes distinctive early-onset cerulean cataracts of unknown etiology. Previously, we reported increased Abeta accumulation, co-localizing amyloid pathology, and disease-linked supranuclear cataracts in the ocular lenses of subjects with AD. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that related AD-linked Abeta pathology underlies the distinctive lens phenotype associated with DS. Ophthalmological examinations of DS subjects were correlated with phenotypic, histochemical, and biochemical analyses of lenses obtained from DS, AD, and normal control subjects. Evaluation of DS lenses revealed a characteristic pattern of supranuclear opacification accompanied by accelerated supranuclear Abeta accumulation, co-localizing amyloid pathology, and fiber cell cytoplasmic Abeta aggregates (approximately 5 to 50 nm) identical to the lens pathology identified in AD. Peptide sequencing, immunoblot analysis, and ELISA confirmed the identity and increased accumulation of Abeta in DS lenses. Incubation of synthetic Abeta with human lens protein promoted protein aggregation, amyloid formation, and light scattering that recapitulated the molecular pathology and clinical features observed in DS lenses. These results establish the genetic etiology of the distinctive lens phenotype in DS and identify the molecular origin and pathogenic mechanism by which lens pathology is expressed in this common chromosomal disorder. Moreover, these findings confirm increased Abeta accumulation as a key pathogenic determinant linking lens and brain pathology in both DS and AD.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia, resulting in progressive neuronal death and debilitating damage to brain loci that mediate memory and higher cognitive function. While pathogenic genetic mutations have been implicated in approximately 2% of AD cases, the proximal events that underlie the common, sporadic form of the disease are incompletely understood. Converging lines of evidence from human neuropathology, basic biology, and genetics have implicated loss of the multifunctional receptor LR11 (also known as SORLA and SORL1) in AD pathogenesis. Cell-based studies suggest that LR11 reduces the formation of beta-amyloid (Abeta), the molecule believed to be a primary toxic species in AD. Recently, mutant mice deficient in LR11 were shown to upregulate murine Abeta in mouse brain. In the current study, LR11-deficient mice were crossed with transgenic mice expressing autosomal-dominant human AD genes, presenilin-1 (PS1DeltaE9) and amyloid precursor protein (APPswe). Here, we show that LR11 deficiency in this AD mouse model significantly increases Abeta levels and exacerbates early amyloid pathology in brain, causing a forward shift in disease onset that is LR11 gene dose-dependent. Loss of LR11 increases the processing of the APP holo-molecule into alpha-, beta-, and gamma-secretase derived metabolites. We propose that LR11 regulates APP processing and Abeta accumulation in vivo and is of proximal importance to the cascade of pathological amyloidosis. The results of the current study support the hypothesis that control of LR11 expression may exert critical effects on Alzheimer's disease susceptibility in humans.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative pathology commonly characterized by a progressive and irreversible deterioration of cognitive functions, especially memory. Although the etiology of AD remains unknown, a consensus has emerged on the amyloid hypothesis, which posits that increased production of soluble amyloid ? (A?) peptide induces neuronal network dysfunctions and cognitive deficits. However, the relative failures of A?-centric therapeutics suggest that the amyloid hypothesis is incomplete and/or that the treatments were given too late in the course of AD, when neuronal damages were already too extensive. Hence, it is striking to see that very few studies have extensively characterized, from anatomy to behavior, the alterations associated with pre-amyloid stages in mouse models of AD amyloid pathology. To fulfill this gap, we examined memory capacities as well as hippocampal network anatomy and dynamics in young adult pre-plaque TgCRND8 mice when hippocampal A? levels are still low. We showed that TgCRND8 mice present alterations in hippocampal inhibitory networks and ? oscillations at this stage. Further, these mice exhibited deficits only in a subset of hippocampal-dependent memory tasks, which are all affected at later stages. Last, using a pharmacological approach, we showed that some of these early memory deficits were A?-independent. Our results could partly explain the limited efficacy of A?-directed treatments and favor multitherapy approaches for early symptomatic treatment for AD.