ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the major cause of dementia worldwide. The pharmacological activation of nuclear receptors (Liver X receptors: LXRs or Retinoid X receptors: RXR) has been shown to induce overexpression of the ATP-Binding Cassette A1 (ABCA1) and Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), changes that are associated with improvement in cognition and reduction of amyloid beta pathology in amyloidogenic AD mouse models (i.e. APP, PS1: 2tg-AD). Here we investigated whether treatment with a specific LXR agonist has a measurable impact on the cognitive impairment in an amyloid and Tau AD mouse model (3xTg-AD: 12-months-old; three months treatment). The data suggests that the LXR agonist GW3965 is associated with increased expression of ApoE and ABCA1 in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex without a detectable reduction of the amyloid load. We also report that most cells overexpressing ApoE (86±12%) are neurons localized in the granular cell layer of the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. In the GW3965 treated 3xTg-AD mice we also observed reduction in astrogliosis and increased number of stem and proliferating cells in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus. Additionally, we show that GW3965 rescued hippocampus long term synaptic plasticity, which had been disrupted by oligomeric amyloid beta peptides. The effect of GW3965 on synaptic function was protein synthesis dependent. Our findings identify alternative functional/molecular mechanisms by which LXR agonists may exert their potential benefits as a therapeutic strategy against AD.
Project description:The cholesterol transporter ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) moves lipids onto apolipoproteins including apolipoprotein E (apoE), which is the major cholesterol carrier in the brain and an established genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). In amyloid mouse models of AD, ABCA1 deficiency exacerbates amyloidogenesis, whereas ABCA1 overexpression ameliorates amyloid load, suggesting a role for ABCA1 in A? metabolism. Agonists of liver X receptors (LXR), including GW3965, induce transcription of several genes including ABCA1 and apoE, and reduce A? levels and improve cognition in AD mice. However, the specific role of ABCA1 in mediating beneficial responses to LXR agonists in AD mice is unknown. We evaluated behavioral and neuropathogical outcomes in GW3965-treated female APP/PS1 mice with and without ABCA1. Treatment of APP/PS1 mice with GW3965 increased ABCA1 and apoE protein levels. ABCA1 was required to observe significantly elevated apoE levels in brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid upon therapeutic (33 mg/kg/day) GW3965 treatment. At 33 mg/kg/day, GW3965 was also associated with a trend toward redistribution of A? to the carbonate-soluble pool independent of ABCA1. APP/PS1 mice treated with either 2.5 or 33 mg/kg/day of GW3965 showed a clear trend toward reduced amyloid burden in hippocampus and whole brain, whereas APP/PS1-treated mice lacking ABCA1 failed to display reduced amyloid load in the whole brain and showed trends toward increased hippocampal amyloid. Treatment of APP/PS1 mice with either dose of GW3965 completely restored novel object recognition memory to wild-type levels, which required ABCA1. These results suggest that ABCA1 contributes to several beneficial effects of the LXR agonist GW3965 in APP/PS1 mice.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk and leads to the deposition of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid deposits similar to those found in AD. Agonists of Liver X receptors (LXRs), which regulate the expression of many genes involved in lipid homeostasis and inflammation, improve cognition and reduce neuropathology in AD mice. One pathway by which LXR agonists exert their beneficial effects is through ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1)-mediated lipid transport onto apolipoprotein E (apoE). To test the therapeutic utility of this pathway for TBI, we subjected male wild-type (WT) and apoE-/- mice to mild repetitive traumatic brain injury (mrTBI) followed by treatment with vehicle or the LXR agonist GW3965 at 15 mg/kg/day. GW3965 treatment restored impaired novel object recognition memory in WT but not apoE-/- mice. GW3965 did not significantly enhance the spontaneous recovery of motor deficits observed in all groups. Total soluble A?(40) and A?(42) levels were significantly elevated in WT and apoE-/- mice after injury, a response that was suppressed by GW3965 in both genotypes. WT mice showed mild but significant axonal damage at 2 d post-mrTBI, which was suppressed by GW3965. In contrast, apoE-/- mice showed severe axonal damage from 2 to 14 d after mrTBI that was unresponsive to GW3965. Because our mrTBI model does not produce significant inflammation, the beneficial effects of GW3965 we observed are unlikely to be related to reduced inflammation. Rather, our results suggest that both apoE-dependent and apoE-independent pathways contribute to the ability of GW3965 to promote recovery from mrTBI.
Project description:ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) controls cholesterol and phospholipid efflux to lipid-poor apolipoprotein E (APOE) and is transcriptionally controlled by Liver X receptors (LXRs) and Retinoic X Receptors (RXRs). In APP transgenic mice, lack of Abca1 increased A? deposition and cognitive deficits. Abca1 haplo-deficiency in mice expressing human APOE isoforms, increased level of A? oligomers and worsened memory deficits, preferentially in APOE4 mice. In contrast upregulation of Abca1 by LXR/RXR agonists significantly ameliorated pathological phenotype of those mice. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of LXR agonist T0901317 (T0) on the phenotype and brain transcriptome of APP/E3 and APP/E4 Abca1 haplo-deficient (APP/E3/Abca1+/- and APP/E4/Abca1+/-) mice. Our data demonstrate that activated LXRs/RXR ameliorated APOE4-driven pathological phenotype and significantly affected brain transcriptome. We show that in mice expressing either APOE isoform, T0 treatment increased mRNA level of genes known to affect brain APOE lipidation such as Abca1 and Abcg1. In both APP/E3/Abca1+/- and APP/E4/Abca1+/- mice, the application of LXR agonist significantly increased ABCA1 protein level accompanied by an increased APOE lipidation, and was associated with restoration of APOE4 cognitive deficits, reduced levels of A? oligomers, but unchanged amyloid load. Finally, using Gene set enrichment analysis we show a significant APOE isoform specific response to LXR agonist treatment: Gene Ontology categories "Microtubule Based Process" and "Synapse Organization" were differentially affected in T0-treated APP/E4/Abca1+/- mice. Altogether, the results are suggesting that treatment of APP/E4/Abca1+/- mice with LXR agonist T0 ameliorates APOE4-induced AD-like pathology and therefore targeting the LXR-ABCA1-APOE regulatory axis could be effective as a potential therapeutic approach in AD patients, carriers of APOE?4.
Project description:ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 - ABCA1, is the most extensively studied transporter in human pathology. ABCA1 became a primary subject of research in many academic and pharmaceutical laboratories immediately after the discovery that mutations at the gene locus cause severe familial High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) deficiency and, in the homozygous form - Tangier disease. The protein is the major regulator of intracellular cholesterol efflux which is the initial and essential step in the biogenesis and formation of nascent HDL particles. The transcriptional regulation of ABCA1 by nuclear Liver X Receptors (LXR) provided a starting point for drug discovery and development of synthetic LXR ligands/ABCA1 activators for treatment of arteriosclerosis. A series of reports that revealed the role of ABCA1 in Abeta deposition and clearance, as well as the possibility for association of some ABCA1 genetic variants with risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) brought a new dimension to ABCA1 research. The LXR-ABCA1-APOE regulatory axis is now considered a promising therapeutic target in AD, which includes the only proven risk factor for AD - APOE, at two distinct levels - transcriptional regulation by LXR, and ABCA1 controlled lipidation which can influence Abeta aggregation and amyloid clearance. This review will summarize the results of research on ABCA1, particularly related to AD and neurodegeneration.
Project description:Liver X receptors (LXRs) are ligand-dependent transcription factors that are activated by metabolites of cholesterol, oxysterols, and a number of synthetic agonists. LXRs play potent anti-atherogenic roles in part by stimulating the efflux of cholesterol from macrophage foam cells. The LXR-induced expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABC)-A1 and Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) in macrophages is essential for the stimulation of cholesterol efflux and the prevention of atherosclerotic development. Unfortunately, the signaling pathways underlying such regulation are poorly understood and were therefore investigated in human macrophages. The expression of ApoE and ABCA1 induced by synthetic or natural LXR ligands [TO901317, GW3965, and 22-(R)-hydroxycholesterol (22-(R)-HC), respectively] was attenuated by inhibitors of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) (curcumin and SP600125) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) (LY294002). Similar results were obtained with ABCG1 and LXR-?, two other LXR target genes. LXR agonists activated several components of the JNK pathway (SEK1, JNK and c-Jun) along with AKT, a downstream target for PI3K. In addition, dominant negative mutants of JNK and PI3K pathways inhibited the LXR-agonists-induced activity of the ABCA1 and LXR-? gene promoters in transfected cells. LXR agonists also induced the binding of activator protein-1 (AP-1), a key transcription factor family regulated by JNK, to recognition sequences present in the regulatory regions of the ApoE and ABCA1 genes. These studies reveal a novel role for JNK and PI3K/AKT signaling in the LXR-regulated expression in macrophages of several key genes implicated in atherosclerosis.
Project description:Apolipoprotein E is associated with age-related risk for Alzheimer's disease and plays critical roles in Abeta homeostasis. We report that ApoE plays a role in facilitating the proteolytic clearance of soluble Abeta from the brain. The endolytic degradation of Abeta peptides within microglia by neprilysin and related enzymes is dramatically enhanced by ApoE. Similarly, Abeta degradation extracellularly by insulin-degrading enzyme is facilitated by ApoE. The capacity of ApoE to promote Abeta degradation is dependent upon the ApoE isoform and its lipidation status. The enhanced expression of lipidated ApoE, through the activation of liver X receptors, stimulates Abeta degradation. Indeed, aged Tg2576 mice treated with the LXR agonist GW3965 exhibited a dramatic reduction in brain Abeta load. GW3965 treatment also reversed contextual memory deficits. These data demonstrate a mechanism through which ApoE facilitates the clearance of Abeta from the brain and suggest that LXR agonists may represent a novel therapy for AD.
Project description:ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) is a major reverse cholesterol transporter and plays critical role in the formation of brain high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is the most abundant apolipoprotein and transports cholesterol into cells in brain. ABCA1 and ApoE are upregulated by liver-X receptors. Activation of liver-X receptors has neurorestorative benefit for stroke. The current study investigates whether ABCA1/ApoE/HDL pathway mediates GW3965, a synthetic dual liver-X receptor agonist, induced neurorestoration after stroke.Middle-aged male specific brain ABCA1-deficient (ABCA1-B/-B) and floxed-control (ABCA1fl/fl) mice were subjected to distal middle-cerebral artery occlusion (dMCAo) and gavaged with saline or GW3965 (10 mg/kg) or intracerebral infusion of artificial cerebrospinal fluid or human plasma HDL3 in ABCA1-B/-B stroke mice, starting 24 hours after dMCAo and daily until euthanization 14 days after dMCAo.No differences in the blood level of total cholesterol and triglyceride and lesion volume were found among the groups. Compared with ABCA1fl/fl ischemic mice, ABCA1-B/-B ischemic mice exhibited impairment functional outcome and decreased ABCA1/ApoE expression and decreased gray/white matter densities in the ischemic boundary zone 14 days after dMCAo. GW3965 treatment of ABCA1fl/fl ischemic mice led to increased brain ABCA1/ApoE expression, concomitantly to increased blood HDL, gray/white matter densities and oligodendrocyte progenitor cell numbers in the ischemic boundary zone, as well as improved functional outcome 14 days after dMCAo. GW3965 treatment had negligible beneficial effects in ABCA1-B/-B ischemic mice. However, intracerebral infusion of human plasma HDL3 significantly attenuated ABCA1-B/-B-induced deficits. In vitro, GW3965 treatment (5 ?M) increased ABCA1/synaptophysin level and neurite/axonal outgrowth in primary cortical neurons derived from ABCA1fl/fl embryos, but not in neurons derived from ABCA1-B/-B embryos. HDL treatment (80 ?g/mL) attenuated the reduction of neurite/axonal outgrowth in neurons derived from ABCA1-B/-B embryos.ABCA1/ApoE/HDL pathway, at least partially, contributes to GW3965-induced neurorestoration after stroke.
Project description:High-fat diet and certain dietary patterns are associated with higher incidence of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cognitive decline. However, no specific therapy has been suggested to ameliorate the negative effects of high fat/high cholesterol levels on cognition and amyloid pathology. Here we show that in 9-month-old APP23 mice, a high-fat/high-cholesterol (HF) diet provided for 4 months exacerbates the AD phenotype evaluated by behavioral, morphological, and biochemical assays. To examine the therapeutic potential of liver X receptor (LXR) ligands, APP23 mice were fed HF diet supplemented with synthetic LXR agonist T0901317 (T0). Our results demonstrate that LXR ligand treatment causes a significant reduction of memory deficits observed during both acquisition and retention phases of the Morris water maze. Moreover, the effects of T0 on cognition correlate with AD-like morphological and biochemical parameters. We found a significant decrease in amyloid plaque load, insoluble Abeta and soluble Abeta oligomers. In vitro experiments with primary glia demonstrate that Abca1 is essential for the proper lipidation of ApoE and mediates the effects of T0 on Abeta degradation by microglia. Microdialysis experiments performed on awake freely moving mice showed that T0 decreased Abeta levels in the interstitial fluid of the hippocampus, supporting the conclusion that this treatment increases Abeta clearance. The data presented conclusively shows that LXR activation in the context of a metabolic challenge has critical effects on AD phenotype progression by attenuating Abeta deposition and facilitating its clearance.
Project description:The apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is the most highly associated susceptibility locus for late onset Alzheimer's Disease (AD), and augmenting the beneficial physiological functions of apoE is a proposed therapeutic strategy. In a high throughput phenotypic screen for small molecules that enhance apoE secretion from human CCF-STTG1 astrocytoma cells, we show the chrysanthemic ester 82879 robustly increases expressed apoE up to 9.4-fold and secreted apoE up to 6-fold and is associated with increased total cholesterol in conditioned media. Compound 82879 is unique as structural analogues, including pyrethroid esters, show no effect on apoE expression or secretion. 82879 also stimulates liver x receptor (LXR) target genes including ATP binding cassette A1 (ABCA1), LXR? and inducible degrader of low density lipoprotein receptor (IDOL) at both mRNA and protein levels. In particular, the lipid transporter ABCA1 was increased by up to 10.6-fold upon 82879 treatment. The findings from CCF-STTG1 cells were confirmed in primary human astrocytes from three donors, where increased apoE and ABCA1 was observed along with elevated secretion of high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-like apoE particles. Nuclear receptor transactivation assays revealed modest direct LXR agonism by compound 82879, yet 10 ?M of 82879 significantly upregulated apoE mRNA in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) depleted of both LXR? and LXR?, demonstrating that 82879 can also induce apoE expression independent of LXR transactivation. By contrast, deletion of LXRs in MEFs completely blocked mRNA changes in ABCA1 even at 10 ?M of 82879, indicating the ability of 82879 to stimulate ABCA1 expression is entirely dependent on LXR transactivation. Taken together, compound 82879 is a novel chrysanthemic ester capable of modulating apoE secretion as well as apoE-associated lipid metabolic pathways in astrocytes, which is structurally and mechanistically distinct from known LXR agonists.
Project description:Liver X receptor (LXR) activators decrease atherosclerosis in mice. LXR activators (1) directly upregulate genes involved in reverse cholesterol transport and (2) exert anti-inflammatory effects mediated by transrepression of nuclear factor-?B target genes. We investigated whether myeloid cell deficiency of ATP-binding cassette transporters A1 and G1 (ABCA1/G1), principal targets of LXR that promote macrophage cholesterol efflux and initiate reverse cholesterol transport, would abolish the beneficial effects of LXR activation on atherosclerosis.LXR activator T0901317 substantially reduced inflammatory gene expression in macrophages lacking ABCA1/G1. Ldlr(-/-) mice were transplanted with Abca1(-/-)Abcg1(-/-) or wild-type bone marrow (BM) and fed a Western-type diet for 6 weeks with or without T0901317 supplementation. Abca1/g1 BM deficiency increased atherosclerotic lesion complexity and inflammatory cell infiltration into the adventitia and myocardium. T0901317 markedly decreased lesion area, complexity, and inflammatory cell infiltration in the Abca1(-/-)Abcg1(-/-) BM-transplanted mice. To investigate whether this was because of macrophage Abca1/g1 deficiency, Ldlr(-/-) mice were transplanted with LysmCreAbca1(fl/fl)Abcg1(fl/fl) or Abca1(fl/fl)Abcg1(fl/fl) BM and fed Western-type diet with or without the more specific LXR agonist GW3965 for 12 weeks. GW3965 decreased lesion size in both groups, and the decrease was more prominent in the LysmCreAbca1(fl/fl)Abcg1(fl/fl) group.The results suggest that anti-inflammatory effects of LXR activators are of key importance to their antiatherosclerotic effects in vivo independent of cholesterol efflux pathways mediated by macrophage ABCA1/G1. This has implications for the development of LXR activators that lack adverse effects on lipogenic genes while maintaining the ability to transrepress inflammatory genes.