Inflammatory cytokine levels correlate with amyloid load in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Inflammation is believed to play an important role in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cytokine production is a key pathologic event in the progression of inflammatory cascades. The current study characterizes the cytokine expression profile in the brain of two transgenic mouse models of AD (TgAPPsw and PS1/APPsw) and explores the correlations between cytokine production and the level of soluble and insoluble forms of Abeta. METHODS: Organotypic brain slice cultures from 15-month-old mice (TgAPPsw, PS1/APPsw and control littermates) were established and multiple cytokine levels were analyzed using the Bio-plex multiple cytokine assay system. Soluble and insoluble forms of Abeta were quantified and Abeta-cytokine relationships were analyzed. RESULTS: Compared to control littermates, transgenic mice showed a significant increase in the following pro-inflammatory cytokines: TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-12p40, IL-1beta, IL-1alpha and GM-CSF. TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-1alpha and GM-CSF showed a sequential increase from control to TgAPPsw to PS1/APPsw suggesting that the amplitude of this cytokine response is dependent on brain Abeta levels, since PS1/APPsw mouse brains accumulate more Abeta than TgAPPsw mouse brains. Quantification of Abeta levels in the same slices showed a wide range of Abeta soluble:insoluble ratio values across TgAPPsw and PS1/APPsw brain slices. Abeta-cytokine correlations revealed significant relationships between Abeta1-40, 1-42 (both soluble and insoluble) and all the above cytokines that changed in the brain slices. CONCLUSION: Our data confirm that the brains of transgenic APPsw and PS1/APPsw mice are under an active inflammatory stress, and that the levels of particular cytokines may be directly related to the amount of soluble and insoluble Abeta present in the brain suggesting that pathological accumulation of Abeta is a key driver of the neuroinflammatory response.
Project description:Increased oxidative damage is a prominent and early feature in Alzheimer disease. We previously crossed Alzheimer disease transgenic (APPsw) model mice with alpha-tocopherol transfer protein knock-out (Ttpa(-/-)) mice in which lipid peroxidation in the brain was significantly increased. The resulting double-mutant (Ttpa(-/-)APPsw) mice showed increased amyloid beta (Abeta) deposits in the brain, which was ameliorated with alpha-tocopherol supplementation. To investigate the mechanism of the increased Abeta accumulation, we here studied generation, degradation, aggregation, and efflux of Abeta in the mice. The clearance of intracerebral-microinjected (125)I-Abeta(1-40) from brain was decreased in Ttpa(-/-) mice to be compared with wild-type mice, whereas the generation of Abeta was not increased in Ttpa(-/-)APPsw mice. The activity of an Abeta-degrading enzyme, neprilysin, did not decrease, but the expression level of insulin-degrading enzyme was markedly decreased in Ttpa(-/-) mouse brain. In contrast, Abeta aggregation was accelerated in Ttpa(-/-) mouse brains compared with wild-type brains, and well known molecules involved in Abeta transport from brain to blood, low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 (LRP-1) and p-glycoprotein, were up-regulated in the small vascular fraction of Ttpa(-/-) mouse brains. Moreover, the disappearance of intravenously administered (125)I-Abeta(1-40) was decreased in Ttpa(-/-) mice with reduced translocation of LRP-1 in the hepatocytes. These results suggest that lipid peroxidation due to depletion of alpha-tocopherol impairs Abeta clearances from the brain and from the blood, possibly causing increased Abeta accumulation in Ttpa(-/-)APPsw mouse brain and plasma.
Project description:The amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) postulates that amyloid-beta (Abeta) deposition and neurotoxicity play a causative role in AD; oxidative injury is thought to be central in the pathogenesis. An endogenous defense system against oxidative stress is induced by binding of the transcription factor nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) to the antioxidant response element (ARE) enhancer sequence. The Nrf2-ARE pathway is activated in response to reactive oxygen species to trigger the simultaneous expression of numerous protective enzymes and scavengers. To exploit the Nrf2-ARE pathway therapeutically, we delivered Nrf2 bilaterally into the hippocampus of 9-month-old transgenic AD mice (APP/PS1 mice) using a lentiviral vector encoding human Nrf2. The data indicate that significant reductions in spatial learning deficits of aged APP/PS1 mice in a Morris Water Maze can be achieved by modulating levels of Nrf2 in the brain. Memory improvement in APP/PS1 mice after Nrf2 transduction shifts the balance between soluble and insoluble Abeta toward an insoluble Abeta pool without concomitant change in total brain Abeta burden. Nrf2 gene transfer is associated with a robust reduction in astrocytic but not microglial activation and induction of Nrf2 target gene heme oxygenase 1, indicating overall activation of the Nrf2-ARE pathway in hippocampal neurons 6 months after injection. Results warrant further exploration of the Nrf2-ARE pathway for treatment of AD and suggest that the Nrf2-ARE pathway may represent a potential therapeutic strategy to pursue in AD in humans, particularly in view of the multiple mechanisms by which Nrf2 can exert its protective effects.
Project description:Despite recent advances suggesting new therapeutic targets, Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains incurable. Aberrant production and accumulation of the Abeta peptide resulting from altered processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) is central to the pathogenesis of disease, particularly in dominantly inherited forms of AD. Thus, modulating the production of APP is a potential route to effective AD therapy. Here, we describe the successful use of an allele-specific RNA interference (RNAi) approach targeting the Swedish variant of APP (APPsw) in a transgenic mouse model of AD. Using recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV), we delivered an anti-APPsw short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) to the hippocampus of AD transgenic mice (APP/PS1). In short- and long-term transduction experiments, reduced levels of APPsw transprotein were observed throughout targeted regions of the hippocampus while levels of wild-type murine APP remained unaltered. Moreover, intracellular production of transfer RNA (tRNA)-valine promoter-driven shRNAs did not lead to detectable neuronal toxicity. Finally, long-term bilateral hippocampal expression of anti-APPsw shRNA mitigated abnormal behaviors in this mouse model of AD. The difference in phenotype progression was associated with reduced levels of soluble Abeta but not with a reduced number of amyloid plaques. Our results support the development of allele-specific RNAi strategies to treat familial AD and other dominantly inherited neurodegenerative diseases.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease constitutes a rising threat to public health. Despite extensive research in cellular and animal models, identifying the pathogenic agent present in the human brain and showing that it confers key features of Alzheimer's disease has not been achieved. We extracted soluble amyloid-beta protein (Abeta) oligomers directly from the cerebral cortex of subjects with Alzheimer's disease. The oligomers potently inhibited long-term potentiation (LTP), enhanced long-term depression (LTD) and reduced dendritic spine density in normal rodent hippocampus. Soluble Abeta from Alzheimer's disease brain also disrupted the memory of a learned behavior in normal rats. These various effects were specifically attributable to Abeta dimers. Mechanistically, metabotropic glutamate receptors were required for the LTD enhancement, and N-methyl D-aspartate receptors were required for the spine loss. Co-administering antibodies to the Abeta N-terminus prevented the LTP and LTD deficits, whereas antibodies to the midregion or C-terminus were less effective. Insoluble amyloid plaque cores from Alzheimer's disease cortex did not impair LTP unless they were first solubilized to release Abeta dimers, suggesting that plaque cores are largely inactive but sequester Abeta dimers that are synaptotoxic. We conclude that soluble Abeta oligomers extracted from Alzheimer's disease brains potently impair synapse structure and function and that dimers are the smallest synaptotoxic species.
Project description:To clarify the phenotypic heterogeneity in deposition of amyloid beta (Abeta) in the parenchyma and in cerebral vessels of the brains of the patients having presenilin-1 (PS1) mutations. Mutations in PS1 induce increased production of Abeta42(43), resulting in an enhanced overall deposition of Abeta protein within the cerebral cortex.Sequence analysis of the PS1 gene of DNA from patients with early onset Alzheimer's disease, and immunostaining of brain tissues by end specific monoclonal antibodies against Abeta.Sequence analysis disclosed a novel mutation (N405S) in the PS1 gene in a Japanese patient with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Postmortem examination of one patient with N405S showed limited cerebral amyloid angiopathy, whereas postmortem examination of another Japanese patient with Alzheimer's disease with the E184D mutation disclosed severe cerebral amyloid angiopathy. The brains of both patients showed widespread neuritic plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and neuronal loss. Immunostaining showed that Abeta42 was predominant over Abeta40 in neuritic plaques in both patients, whereas Abeta40 was found to be predominant over Abeta42 in cerebral amyloid angiopathy in the patient with E184D. However, most cortical vessels of the patient with N405S were not reactive with either of the antibodies.The N405S mutation of PS1 is a major determinant of cortical Abeta deposition but not cerebral amyloid angiopathy in Alzheimer's disease.
Project description:We have found that a small number of purified Th2-biased Abeta-specific T cells are sufficient to provide profound cognitive and pathological benefits in an APP+PS1 mouse model for Alzheimer's disease. Six weeks after receiving T cell infusions, cognitively-impaired mice performed significantly better in working memory tasks, which correlated with higher plasma levels of soluble Abeta. Pathological analysis of the hippocampus revealed a 30% decrease of plaque-associated microglia and less vascular amyloidosis in T cell treated mice. The infusion of Abeta-specific Th2 cells also reduced plasma levels of IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, GM-CSF, IL-2 and IL-4, which are elevated in untreated APP+PS1 mice. No significant immune cell infiltration and no anti-Abeta antibody titers occurred in the T cell treated mice. These results demonstrate that Abeta-specific Th2 cells are sufficient to reverse cognitive impairment and provide multiple pathological benefits in an Alzheimer's mouse model.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder pathologically characterized by deposition of beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptides as senile plaques in the brain. Recent studies suggest that green tea flavonoids may be used for the prevention and treatment of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we report that (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the main polyphenolic constituent of green tea, reduces Abeta generation in both murine neuron-like cells (N2a) transfected with the human "Swedish" mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP) and in primary neurons derived from Swedish mutant APP-overexpressing mice (Tg APPsw line 2576). In concert with these observations, we find that EGCG markedly promotes cleavage of the alpha-C-terminal fragment of APP and elevates the N-terminal APP cleavage product, soluble APP-alpha. These cleavage events are associated with elevated alpha-secretase activity and enhanced hydrolysis of tumor necrosis factor alpha-converting enzyme, a primary candidate alpha-secretase. As a validation of these findings in vivo, we treated Tg APPsw transgenic mice overproducing Abeta with EGCG and found decreased Abeta levels and plaques associated with promotion of the nonamyloidogenic alpha-secretase proteolytic pathway. These data raise the possibility that EGCG dietary supplementation may provide effective prophylaxis for AD.
Project description:Cytokines play an emerging role as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and neurohormones in the brain. This paradigm shift in cytokine function offers a new framework to understand their roles in ameliorating neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Molecular adjuvant therapy of AD animal models with glatiramer acetate induces anti-inflammatory responses and therapeutic effects. Although these effects are potentially mediated through anti-inflammatory cytokine signaling, the exact molecular identities and pathways are poorly understood. Here, we show that virus-mediated expression of the mouse interleukin (IL)-4 gene in beta-amyloid precursor protein + presenilin-1 (APP+PS1) bigenic mice attenuates AD pathogenesis. Introduction of an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector encoding IL-4 into the hippocampus resulted in sustained expression of IL-4, reduced astro/microgliosis, amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) oligomerization and deposition, and enhanced neurogenesis. Moreover, increased levels of IL-4 improved spatial learning, promoted phosphorylation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit 2B at Tyr 1472, and enhanced its cell surface retention both in vivo and in vitro. Our data suggest that neuronal anti-inflammatory cytokine signaling may be a potential alternative target for non-Abeta-mediated treatment of AD.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathologic change is characterized by amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) that consist of aggregated amyloid beta (Abeta) and hyperphosphorylated tau proteins (p-tau), respectively. Although the global relationship between Abeta and p-tau has been studied for decades, it is still unclear whether a regional correlation exists between Abeta and p-tau in the human brain. Recent studies in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) have suggested that tau phosphorylation at specific sites such as T217 is modified at an early stage of AD when amyloid plaques become detectable. We applied biochemical and mass spectrometry methods in human brain samples with and without Abeta plaque pathology to measure site-specific phosphorylation occupancies in soluble and insoluble tau. Our quantitative results identified multiple residues specifically hyper-phosphorylated in AD, including at sites T111, T153, S184 (or S185), T205, S208, T217, S262, and S285 in brain soluble tau. In contrast, the most enriched phosphorylated residues in brain insoluble tau were T111, S113, T153, T181, S199, S202, T205, T217, T231, S262, and S396. Tau phosphorylation occupancies in the insoluble fraction were relatively constant across brain regions, suggesting that tau has a consistent phosphorylation pattern once it has aggregated into NFTs. We did not find regional association between Abeta42 and insoluble tau. However, the phosphorylation profile of soluble tau in AD brain was highly correlated to that in AD CSF, which was analyzed in a previous study. We also found a higher regional association between total Abeta42 and soluble tau phosphorylation occupancy at residues T111, T153 and T217 in the brain. This study provides insights into regional interactions between amyloidosis and specific tau phosphorylated residues in the human brain and may explain the specific increases of tau species phosphorylation observed in AD CSF.
Project description:Carrying the ?4 allele of the APOE gene encoding apolipoprotein E (APOE4) markedly increases the risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD), in which APOE4 exacerbates the brain accumulation and subsequent deposition of amyloid-? (A?) peptides. While the LDL receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) is a major apoE receptor in the brain, we found that its levels are associated with those of insoluble A? depending on APOE genotype status in postmortem AD brains. Thus, to determine the functional interaction of apoE4 and LRP1 in brain A? metabolism, we crossed neuronal LRP1-knockout mice with amyloid model APP/PS1 mice and APOE3-targeted replacement (APO3-TR) or APOE4-TR mice. Consistent with previous findings, mice expressing apoE4 had increased A? deposition and insoluble amounts of A?40 and A?42 in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice compared with those expressing apoE3. Intriguingly, such effects were reversed in the absence of neuronal LRP1. Neuronal LRP1 deficiency also increased detergent-soluble apoE4 levels, which may contribute to the inhibition of A? deposition. Together, our results suggest that apoE4 exacerbates A? pathology through a mechanism that depends on neuronal LRP1. A better understanding of apoE isoform-specific interaction with their metabolic receptor LRP1 on A? metabolism is crucial for defining APOE4-related risk for AD.