Reduced tissue levels of noradrenaline are associated with behavioral phenotypes of the TgCRND8 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
ABSTRACT: Noradrenergic cell loss is well documented in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have measured the tissue levels of catecholamines in an amyloid precursor protein-transgenic 'TgCRND8' mouse model of AD and found reductions in noradrenaline (NA) within hippocampus, temporoparietal and frontal cortices, and cerebellum. An age-related increase in cortical NA levels was observed in non-Tg controls, but not in TgCRND8 mice. In contrast, NA levels declined with aging in the TgCRND8 hippocampus. Dopamine levels were unaffected. Reductions in the tissue content of NA were found to coincide with altered expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA and to precede the onset of object memory impairment and behavioral despair. To test whether these phenotypes might be associated with diminished NA, we treated mice with dexefaroxan, an antagonist of presynaptic inhibitory ?(2)-adrenoceptors on noradrenergic and cholinergic terminals. Mice 12 weeks of age were infused systemically for 28 days with dexefaroxan or rivastigmine, a cholinesterase inhibitor. Both dexefaroxan and rivastigmine improved TgCRND8 behavioral phenotypes and increased BDNF mRNA expression without affecting amyloid-? peptide levels. Our results highlight the importance of noradrenergic depletion in AD-like phenotypes of TgCRND8 mice.
Project description:In addition to cognitive decline, individuals affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD) can experience important neuropsychiatric symptoms including sleep disturbances. We characterized the sleep-wake cycle in the TgCRND8 mouse model of AD, which overexpresses a mutant human form of amyloid precursor protein resulting in high levels of ?-amyloid and plaque formation by 3 months of age. Polysomnographic recordings in freely-moving mice were conducted to study sleep-wake cycle architecture at 3, 7 and 11 months of age and corresponding levels of ?-amyloid in brain regions regulating sleep-wake states were measured. At all ages, TgCRND8 mice showed increased wakefulness and reduced non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep during the resting and active phases. Increased wakefulness in TgCRND8 mice was accompanied by a shift in the waking power spectrum towards fast frequency oscillations in the beta (14-20 Hz) and low gamma range (20-50 Hz). Given the phenotype of hyperarousal observed in TgCRND8 mice, the role of noradrenergic transmission in the promotion of arousal, and previous work reporting an early disruption of the noradrenergic system in TgCRND8, we tested the effects of the alpha-1-adrenoreceptor antagonist, prazosin, on sleep-wake patterns in TgCRND8 and non-transgenic (NTg) mice. We found that a lower dose (2 mg/kg) of prazosin increased NREM sleep in NTg but not in TgCRND8 mice, whereas a higher dose (5 mg/kg) increased NREM sleep in both genotypes, suggesting altered sensitivity to noradrenergic blockade in TgCRND8 mice. Collectively our results demonstrate that amyloidosis in TgCRND8 mice is associated with sleep-wake cycle dysfunction, characterized by hyperarousal, validating this model as a tool towards understanding the relationship between ?-amyloid overproduction and disrupted sleep-wake patterns in AD.
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.
Project description:Recent evidence emphasizes the role of dysregulated one-carbon metabolism in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Exploiting a nutritional B-vitamin deficiency paradigm, we have previously shown that PSEN1 and BACE1 activity is modulated by one-carbon metabolism, leading to increased amyloid production. We have also demonstrated that S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) supplementation contrasted the AD-like features, induced by B-vitamin deficiency. In the present study, we expanded these observations by investigating the effects of SAM and SOD (Superoxide dismutase) association. TgCRND8 AD mice were fed either with a control or B-vitamin deficient diet, with or without oral supplementation of SAM + SOD. We measured oxidative stress by lipid peroxidation assay, PSEN1 and BACE1 expression by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), amyloid deposition by ELISA assays and immunohistochemistry. We found that SAM + SOD supplementation prevents the exacerbation of AD-like features induced by B vitamin deficiency, showing synergistic effects compared to either SAM or SOD alone. SAM + SOD supplementation also contrasts the amyloid deposition typically observed in TgCRND8 mice. Although the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effect of exogenous SOD remain to be elucidated, our findings identify that the combination of SAM + SOD could be carefully considered as co-adjuvant of current AD therapies.
Project description:Inositol stereoisomers, myo- and scyllo-inositol, are known to enter the brain and are significantly elevated following oral administration. Elevations in brain inositol levels occur across a concentration gradient as a result of active transport from the periphery. There are two sodium/myo-inositol transporters (SMIT1, SMIT2) that may be responsible for regulating brain inositol levels. The goals of this study were to determine the effects of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like amyloid pathology on transporter expression, to compare regional expression and to analyze substrate requirements of the inositol transporters. QPCR was used to examine expression of the two transporters in the cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum of TgCRND8 mice, a mouse model of amyloid pathology, in comparison to non-transgenic littermates. In addition, we examined the structural features of inositol required for active transport, utilizing a cell-based competitive uptake assay. Disease pathology did not alter transporter expression in the cortex or hippocampus (p>0.005), with only minimal effects of aging observed in the cerebellum (SMIT1: F(2,26)?=?12.62; p?=?0.0002; SMIT2: F(2,26)?=?8.71; p?=?0.0015). Overall, brain SMIT1 levels were higher than SMIT2, however, regional differences were observed. For SMIT1, at 4 and 6 months cerebellar SMIT1 levels were significantly higher than cortical and hippocampal levels (p<0.05). For SMIT2, at all three ages both cortical and cerebellar SMIT2 levels were significantly higher than hippocampal levels (p<0.05) and at 4 and 6 months of age, cerebellar SMIT2 levels were also significantly higher than cortical levels (p<0.05). Inositol transporter levels are stably expressed as a function of age, and expression is unaltered with disease pathology in the TgCRND8 mouse. Given the fact that scyllo-inositol is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of AD, the stable expression of inositol transporters regardless of disease pathology is an important finding.
Project description: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:BACKGROUND:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a multifactorial neurodegenerative disorder with important vascular and hemostatic alterations that should be taken into account during diagnosis and treatment. OBJECTIVES:This study evaluates whether anticoagulation with dabigatran, a clinically approved oral direct thrombin inhibitor with a low risk of intracerebral hemorrhage, ameliorates AD pathogenesis in a transgenic mouse model of AD. METHODS:TgCRND8 AD mice and their wild-type littermates were treated for 1 year with dabigatran etexilate or placebo. Cognition was evaluated using the Barnes maze, and cerebral perfusion was examined by arterial spin labeling. At the molecular level, Western blot and histochemical analyses were performed to analyze fibrin content, amyloid burden, neuroinflammatory activity, and blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity. RESULTS:Anticoagulation with dabigatran prevented memory decline, cerebral hypoperfusion, and toxic fibrin deposition in the AD mouse brain. In addition, long-term dabigatran treatment significantly reduced the extent of amyloid plaques, oligomers, phagocytic microglia, and infiltrated T cells by 23.7%, 51.8%, 31.3%, and 32.2%, respectively. Dabigatran anticoagulation also prevented AD-related astrogliosis and pericyte alterations, and maintained expression of the water channel aquaporin-4 at astrocytic perivascular endfeet of the BBB. CONCLUSIONS:Long-term anticoagulation with dabigatran inhibited thrombin and the formation of occlusive thrombi in AD; preserved cognition, cerebral perfusion, and BBB function; and ameliorated neuroinflammation and amyloid deposition in AD mice. Our results open a field for future investigation on whether the use of direct oral anticoagulants might be of therapeutic value in AD.
Project description:Rivastigmine (or Exelon) is a cholinesterase inhibitor, currently used as a symptomatic treatment for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD). Amyloid-? peptide (A?) generated from its precursor protein (APP) by ?-secretase (or BACE1) and ?-secretase endoproteolysis. Alternative APP cleavage by ?-secretase (a family of membrane-bound metalloproteases- Adamalysins) precludes the generation of toxic A? and yields a neuroprotective and neurotrophic secreted sAPP? fragment. Several signal transduction pathways, including protein kinase C and MAP kinase, stimulate ?-secretase. We present data to suggest that rivastigmine, in addition to anticholinesterase activity, directs APP processing away from BACE1 and towards ?-secretases. We treated rat neuronal PC12 cells and primary human brain (PHB) cultures with rivastigmine and the ?-secretase inhibitor TAPI and assayed for levels of APP processing products and ?-secretases. We subsequently treated 3×Tg (transgenic) mice with rivastigmine and harvested hippocampi to assay for levels of APP processing products. We also assayed postmortem human control, AD, and AD brains from subjects treated with rivastigmine for levels of APP metabolites. Rivastigmine dose-dependently promoted ?-secretase activity by upregulating levels of ADAM-9, -10, and -17 ?-secretases in PHB cultures. Co-treatment with TAPI eliminated rivastigmine-induced sAPP? elevation. Rivastigmine treatment elevated levels of sAPP? in 3×Tg mice. Consistent with these results, we also found elevated sAPP? in postmortem brain samples from AD patients treated with rivastigmine. Rivastigmine can modify the levels of several shedding proteins and directs APP processing toward the non-amyloidogenic pathway. This novel property of rivastigmine can be therapeutically exploited for disease-modifying intervention that goes beyond symptomatic treatment for AD.
Project description:Conflicting findings exist regarding the link between environmental factors and development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in a variety of transgenic mouse models of AD. In the present study, we investigated the effect of behavioral stress on the onset and progression of A? pathology in the brains of TgCRND8 mice, a transgenic mouse model of AD. One group of TgCRND8 mice was subjected to restraint stress starting at 1 month of age until they were 3 months old, while restraint stress in the second group started at 4 months of age until they were 6 months old. After 2 months of treatment, no differences in the soluble, formic acid extracted, or histologically detected A? deposition in the cortical and hippocampal levels were found between non-stressed and stressed mice. These results showed that restraint stress alone failed to aggravate amyloid pathology when initiated either before or after the age of amyloid plaque deposition in TgCRND8 mice, suggesting that if stress aggravated AD phenotype, it may not be via an amyloid-related mechanism in the TgCRND8 mice. These findings are indicative that plaque load per se may not be used as a significant criterion for evaluating the effect of stress on AD patients.
Project description:The principal defining feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is memory impairment. As the transcription factor CREB (cAMP/Ca(2+) responsive element-binding protein) is critical for memory formation across species, we investigated the role of CREB in a mouse model of AD. We found that TgCRND8 mice exhibit a profound impairment in the ability to form a spatial memory, a process that critically relies on the dorsal hippocampus. Perhaps contributing to this memory deficit, we observed additional deficits in the dorsal hippocampus of TgCRND8 mice in terms of (1) biochemistry (decreased CREB activation in the CA1 region), (2) neuronal structure (decreased spine density and dendritic complexity of CA1 pyramidal neurons), and (3) neuronal network activity (decreased arc mRNA levels following behavioral training). Locally and acutely increasing CREB function in the CA1 region of dorsal hippocampus of TgCRND8 mice was sufficient to restore function in each of these key domains (biochemistry, neuronal structure, network activity, and most importantly, memory formation). The rescue produced by increasing CREB was specific both anatomically and behaviorally and independent of plaque load or A? levels. Interestingly, humans with AD show poor spatial memory/navigation and AD brains have disrupted (1) CREB activation, and (2) spine density and dendritic complexity in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. These parallel findings not only confirm that TgCRND8 mice accurately model key aspects of human AD, but furthermore, suggest the intriguing possibility that targeting CREB may be a useful therapeutic strategy in treating humans with AD.
Project description:Degeneration of the locus coeruleus (LC), the major noradrenergic nucleus in the brain, occurs early and is ubiquitous in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Experimental lesions to the LC exacerbate AD-like neuropathology and cognitive deficits in several transgenic mouse models of AD. Because the LC contains multiple neuromodulators known to affect amyloid ? toxicity and cognitive function, the specific role of noradrenaline (NA) in AD is not well understood.To determine the consequences of selective NA deficiency in an AD mouse model, we crossed dopamine ?-hydroxylase (DBH) knockout mice with amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilin-1 (PS1) mice overexpressing mutant APP and PS1. Dopamine ?-hydroxylase (-/-) mice are unable to synthesize NA but otherwise have normal LC neurons and co-transmitters. Spatial memory, hippocampal long-term potentiation, and synaptic protein levels were assessed.The modest impairments in spatial memory and hippocampal long-term potentiation displayed by young APP/PS1 or DBH (-/-) single mutant mice were augmented in DBH (-/-)/APP/PS1 double mutant mice. Deficits were associated with reduced levels of total calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2A and increased N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2B levels and were independent of amyloid ? accumulation. Spatial memory performance was partly improved by treatment with the NA precursor drug L-threo-dihydroxyphenylserine.These results indicate that early LC degeneration and subsequent NA deficiency in AD may contribute to cognitive deficits via altered levels of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and suggest that NA supplementation could be beneficial in early AD.