Selective loss of noradrenaline exacerbates early cognitive dysfunction and synaptic deficits in APP/PS1 mice.
ABSTRACT: 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.
Project description:To assess the consequences of locus ceruleus (LC) degeneration and subsequent noradrenaline (NA) deficiency in early Alzheimer's disease (AD), mice overexpressing mutant amyloid precursor protein and presenilin-1 (APP/PS1) were crossed with Ear2(-/-) mice that have a severe loss of LC neurons projecting to the hippocampus and neocortex. Testing spatial memory and hippocampal long-term potentiation revealed an impairment in APP/PS1 Ear2(-/-) mice, whereas APP/PS1 or Ear2(-/-) mice showed only minor changes. These deficits were associated with distinct synaptic changes including reduced expression of the NMDA 2A subunit and increased levels of NMDA receptor 2B in APP/PS1 Ear2(-/-) mice. Acute pharmacological replacement of NA by L-threo-DOPS partially restored phosphorylation of ?-CaMKII and spatial memory performance in APP/PS1 Ear2(-/-) mice. These changes were not accompanied by altered APP processing or amyloid ? peptide (A?) deposition. Thus, early LC degeneration and subsequent NA reduction may contribute to cognitive deficits via CaMKII and NMDA receptor dysfunction independent of A? and suggests that NA supplementation could be beneficial in treating AD.
Project description:To date there is no effective therapy for Alzheimer disease (AD). High levels of circulating high density lipoprotein (HDL) and its main protein, apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Clinical studies show that plasma HDL cholesterol and apoA-I levels are low in patients with AD. To investigate if increasing plasma apoA-I/HDL levels ameliorates AD-like memory deficits and amyloid-? (A?) deposition, we generated a line of triple transgenic (Tg) mice overexpressing mutant forms of amyloid-? precursor protein (APP) and presenilin 1 (PS1) as well as human apoA-I (AI). Here we show that APP/PS1/AI triple Tg mice have a 2-fold increase of plasma HDL cholesterol levels. When tested in the Morris water maze for spatial orientation abilities, whereas APP/PS1 mice develop age-related learning and memory deficits, APP/PS1/AI mice continue to perform normally during aging. Interestingly, no significant differences were found in the total level and deposition of A? in the brains of APP/PS1 and APP/PS1/AI mice, but cerebral amyloid angiopathy was reduced in APP/PS1/AI mice. Also, consistent with the anti-inflammatory properties of apoA-I/HDL, glial activation was reduced in the brain of APP/PS1/AI mice. In addition, A?-induced production of proinflammatory chemokines/cytokines was decreased in mouse organotypic hippocampal slice cultures expressing human apoA-I. Therefore, we conclude that overexpression of human apoA-I in the circulation prevents learning and memory deficits in APP/PS1 mice, partly by attenuating neuroinflammation and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. These findings suggest that elevating plasma apoA-I/HDL levels may be an effective approach to preserve cognitive function in patients with AD.
Project description:The accumulation and deposition of beta-amyloid (A?) is a key neuropathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are promising therapeutic targets for the treatment of AD, while the specific HDAC isoforms associated with cognitive improvement are poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the role of HDAC3 in the pathogenesis of AD. Nuclear HDAC3 is significantly increased in the hippocampus of 6- and 9-month-old APPswe/PS1dE9 (APP/PS1) mice compared with that in age-matched wild-type C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Lentivirus -mediated inhibition or overexpression of HDAC3 was used in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice to investigate the role of HDAC3 in spatial memory, amyloid burden, dendritic spine density, glial activation and tau phosphorylation. Inhibition of HDAC3 in the hippocampus attenuates spatial memory deficits, as indicated in the Morris water maze test, and decreases amyloid plaque load and A? levels in the brains of APP/PS1 mice. Dendritic spine density is increased, while microglial activation is alleviated after HDAC3 inhibition in the hippocampus of 9-month-old APP/PS1 mice. Furthermore, HDAC3 overexpression in the hippocampus increases A? levels, activates microglia, and decreases dendritic spine density in 6-month-old APP/PS1 mice. In conclusion, our results indicate that HDAC3 negatively regulates spatial memory in APP/PS1 mice and HDAC3 inhibition might represent a potential therapy for the treatment of AD.
Project description:A hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD) is the deposition of amyloid ? (A?) in brain parenchyma and cerebral blood vessels, accompanied by cognitive decline. Previously, we showed that human apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) decreases A?(40) aggregation and toxicity. Here we demonstrate that apoA-I in lipidated or non-lipidated form prevents the formation of high molecular weight aggregates of A?(42) and decreases A?(42) toxicity in primary brain cells. To determine the effects of apoA-I on AD phenotype in vivo, we crossed APP/PS1?E9 to apoA-I(KO) mice. Using a Morris water maze, we demonstrate that the deletion of mouse Apoa-I exacerbates memory deficits in APP/PS1?E9 mice. Further characterization of APP/PS1?E9/apoA-I(KO) mice showed that apoA-I deficiency did not affect amyloid precursor protein processing, soluble A? oligomer levels, A? plaque load, or levels of insoluble A? in brain parenchyma. To examine the effect of Apoa-I deletion on cerebral amyloid angiopathy, we measured insoluble A? isolated from cerebral blood vessels. Our data show that in APP/PS1?E9/apoA-I(KO) mice, insoluble A?(40) is increased more than 10-fold, and A?(42) is increased 1.5-fold. The increased levels of deposited amyloid in the vessels of cortices and hippocampi of APP/PS1?E9/apoA-I(KO) mice, measured by X-34 staining, confirmed the results. Finally, we demonstrate that lipidated and non-lipidated apoA-I significantly decreased A? toxicity against brain vascular smooth muscle cells. We conclude that lack of apoA-I aggravates the memory deficits in APP/PS1?E9 mice in parallel to significantly increased cerebral amyloid angiopathy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The intermediate-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel KCa3.1 was recently shown to control the phenotype switch of reactive astrogliosis (RA) in Alzheimer's disease (AD). METHODS:KCa3.1 channels expression and cell localization in the brains of AD patients and APP/PS1 mice model were measured by immunoblotting and immunostaining. APP/PS1 mice and KCa3.1-/-/APP/PS1 mice were subjected to Morris water maze test to evaluate the spatial memory deficits. Glia activation and neuron loss was measured by immunostaining. Fluo-4AM was used to measure cytosolic Ca2+ level in ?-amyloid (A?) induced reactive astrocytes in vitro. RESULTS:KCa3.1 expression was markedly associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and unfolded protein response (UPR) in both A?-stimulated primary astrocytes and brain lysates of AD patients and APP/PS1 AD mice. The KCa3.1 channel was shown to regulate store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) through an interaction with the Ca2+ channel Orai1 in primary astrocytes. Gene deletion or pharmacological blockade of KCa3.1 protected against SOCE-induced Ca2+ overload and ER stress via the protein kinase B (AKT) signaling pathway in astrocytes. Importantly, gene deletion or blockade of KCa3.1 restored AKT/mechanistic target of rapamycin signaling both in vivo and in vitro. Consistent with these in vitro data, expression levels of the ER stress markers 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein, as well as that of the RA marker glial fibrillary acidic protein were increased in APP/PS1 AD mouse model. Elimination of KCa3.1 in KCa3.1-/-/APP/PS1 mice corrected these abnormal responses. Moreover, glial activation and neuroinflammation were attenuated in the hippocampi of KCa3.1-/-/APP/PS1 mice, as compared with APP/PS1 mice. In addition, memory deficits and neuronal loss in APP/PS1 mice were reversed in KCa3.1-/-/APP/PS1 mice. CONCLUSIONS:Overall, these results suggest that KCa3.1 is involved in the regulation of Ca2+ homeostasis in astrocytes and attenuation of the UPR and ER stress, thus contributing to memory deficits and neuronal loss.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with the accumulation and deposition of a beta-amyloid (??) peptide in the brain, resulting in increased neuroinflammation and synaptic dysfunction. Intranasal delivery of targeted drugs to the brain represents a noninvasive pathway that bypasses the blood-brain barrier and minimizes systemic exposure. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effect of intranasally delivered 9-cis retinoic acid (RA) on the neuropathology of an AD mouse model. Herein, we observed dramatically decreased ?? deposition in the brains of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin 1 (PS1) double-transgenic mice (APP/PS1) treated intranasally with 9-cis RA for 4 weeks compared to that in the brains of vehicle-treated mice. Importantly, intranasal delivery of 9-cis RA suppressed ??-associated astrocyte activation and neuroinflammation and ultimately restored synaptic deficits in APP/PS1 transgenic mice. These results support the critical roles of ??-associated neuroinflammation responses to synaptic deficits, particularly during the deposition of ??. Our findings provide strong evidence that intranasally delivered 9-cis RA attenuates neuronal dysfunction in an AD mouse model and is a promising therapeutic strategy for the prevention and treatment of AD.
Project description:Brain insulin signaling deficits contribute to multiple pathological features of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although intranasal insulin has shown efficacy in patients with AD, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unillustrated. Here, we demonstrate that intranasal insulin improves cognitive deficits, ameliorates defective brain insulin signaling, and strongly reduces ?-amyloid (A?) production and plaque formation after 6 weeks of treatment in 4.5-month-old APPswe/PS1dE9 (APP/PS1) mice. Furthermore, c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation, which plays a pivotal role in insulin resistance and AD pathologies, is significantly inhibited. The alleviation of amyloid pathology by intranasal insulin results mainly from enhanced nonamyloidogenic processing and compromised amyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP), and from a reduction in apolipoprotein E protein which is involved in A? metabolism. In addition, intranasal insulin effectively promotes hippocampal neurogenesis in APP/PS1 mice. This study, exploring the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of intranasal insulin on A? pathologies in vivo for the first time, highlights important preclinical evidence that intranasal insulin is potentially an effective therapeutic method for the prevention and treatment of AD.
Project description:Chemokines are important modulators of neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. In the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and in AD animal models, the chemokine CXCL10 is found in high concentrations, suggesting a pathogenic role for this chemokine and its receptor, CXCR3. Recent studies aimed at addressing the role of CXCR3 in neurological diseases indicate potent, but diverse, functions for CXCR3. Here, we examined the impact of CXCR3 in the amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilin 1 (PS1) transgenic mouse model of AD. We found that, compared with control APP/PSI animals, plaque burden and A? levels were strongly reduced in CXCR3-deficient APP/PS1 mice. Analysis of microglial phagocytosis in vitro and in vivo demonstrated that CXCR3 deficiency increased the microglial uptake of A?. Application of a CXCR3 antagonist increased microglial A? phagocytosis, which was associated with reduced TNF-? secretion. Moreover, in CXCR3-deficient APP/PS1 mice, microglia exhibited morphological activation and reduced plaque association, and brain tissue from APP/PS1 animals lacking CXCR3 had reduced concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines compared with controls. Further, loss of CXCR3 attenuated the behavioral deficits observed in APP/PS1 mice. Together, our data indicate that CXCR3 signaling mediates development of AD-like pathology in APP/PS1 mice and suggest that CXCR3 has potential as a therapeutic target for AD.
Project description:Currently no effective disease-modifying agents exist for the treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD). The Fyn tyrosine kinase is implicated in AD pathology triggered by amyloid-ß oligomers (Aßo) and propagated by Tau. Thus, Fyn inhibition may prevent or delay disease progression. Here, we sought to repurpose the Src family kinase inhibitor oncology compound, AZD0530, for AD.The pharmacokinetics and distribution of AZD0530 were evaluated in mice. Inhibition of Aßo signaling to Fyn, Pyk2, and Glu receptors by AZD0530 was tested by brain slice assays. After AZD0530 or vehicle treatment of wild-type and AD transgenic mice, memory was assessed by Morris water maze and novel object recognition. For these cohorts, amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism, synaptic markers (SV2 and PSD-95), and targets of Fyn (Pyk2 and Tau) were studied by immunohistochemistry and by immunoblotting.AZD0530 potently inhibits Fyn and prevents both Aßo-induced Fyn signaling and downstream phosphorylation of the AD risk gene product Pyk2, and of NR2B Glu receptors in brain slices. After 4 weeks of treatment, AZD0530 dosing of APP/PS1 transgenic mice fully rescues spatial memory deficits and synaptic depletion, without altering APP or Aß metabolism. AZD0530 treatment also reduces microglial activation in APP/PS1 mice, and rescues Tau phosphorylation and deposition abnormalities in APP/PS1/Tau transgenic mice. There is no evidence of AZD0530 chronic toxicity.Targeting Fyn can reverse memory deficits found in AD mouse models, and rescue synapse density loss characteristic of the disease. Thus, AZD0530 is a promising candidate to test as a potential therapy for AD.
Project description:Functional connectivity (FC) studies have gained immense popularity in the evaluation of several neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is a complex disorder, characterised by several pathological features. The problem with FC studies in patients is that it is not straightforward to focus on a specific aspect of pathology. In the current study, resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) is applied in a mouse model of amyloidosis to assess the effects of amyloid pathology on FC in the mouse brain.Nine APP/PS1 transgenic and nine wild-type mice (average age 18.9 months) were imaged on a 7T MRI system. The mice were anesthetized with medetomidine and rsfMRI data were acquired using a gradient echo EPI sequence. The data were analysed using a whole brain seed correlation analysis and interhemispheric FC was evaluated using a pairwise seed analysis. Qualitative histological analyses were performed to assess amyloid pathology, inflammation and synaptic deficits.The whole brain seed analysis revealed an overall decrease in FC in the brains of transgenic mice compared to wild-type mice. The results showed that interhemispheric FC was relatively preserved in the motor cortex of the transgenic mice, but decreased in the somatosensory cortex and the hippocampus when compared to the wild-type mice. The pairwise seed analysis confirmed these results. Histological analyses confirmed the presence of amyloid pathology, inflammation and synaptic deficits in the transgenic mice.In the current study, rsfMRI demonstrated decreased FC in APP/PS1 transgenic mice compared to wild-type mice in several brain regions. The APP/PS1 transgenic mice had advanced amyloid pathology across the brain, as well as inflammation and synaptic deficits surrounding the amyloid plaques. Future studies should longitudinally evaluate APP/PS1 transgenic mice and correlate the rsfMRI findings to specific stages of amyloid pathology.