Survival Curves and Behavioral Profiles of Female 3xTg-AD Mice Surviving to 18-Months of Age as Compared to Mice with Normal Aging.
ABSTRACT: New evidence reveals a high degree of heterogeneity in Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical and temporal patterns, supporting the existence of several subgroups of patients. Prognosticators of end-of-life dementia specific to elderly patients are necessary to address this heterogeneity. Among 3xTg-AD mice, a widely-used model for AD, a very small number of animals overcome advanced neuropathological stages of disease beyond 18 months of age. They are usually females, which reach longevity in spite of worse neuropathological status as compared to males (the morbidity/mortality paradox). We posit that 3xTg-AD long-term survivors could serve to model end-of-life dementia but also aware about the mortality selection bias. In the present study, we performed behavioral and functional phenotype in long-term survivors, 18-month-old female 3xTg-AD mice and age-matched wildtype undergoing normal aging. Animals were followed up until natural death to correlate survival with phenotype assessments. Strong similarity of their behavioral profiles in all the variables analyzed (e.g. reflexes, sensorimotor functions, locomotion, exploration, emotionality, and anxiety-like behaviors) was found, with the exception of memory impairment, which was a salient trait in old 3xTg-AD survivors. The two groups showed similar mean life expectancy and had behavioral correlates among lifespan, neophobia and long-term memory in common, with some distinctions in 3xTg-AD, supporting recent studies in end-of-life patients. In spite of the small sample size, this brief report presents an interesting scenario to further study heterogeneity and survival in Alzheimer's disease. 3xTg-AD survivors may be a model to gain insight into the frailty/survival paradigm in normal and pathological aging.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common dementia worldwide. According to the amyloid hypothesis, the early accumulation of the A?-peptide triggers tau phosphorylation, synaptic dysfunction, and eventually neuronal death leading to cognitive impairment, as well as behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. ScFv-h3D6 is a single-chain variable fragment that has already shown its ability to diminish the amyloid burden in 5-month-old 3xTg-AD mice. However, tau pathology is not evident at this early stage of the disease in this mouse model. In this study, the effects of scFv-h3D6 on A? and tau pathologies have been assessed in 22-month-old 3xTg-AD mice. Briefly, 3xTg-AD female mice were treated for 2 weeks with scFv-h3D6 and compared with 3xTg-AD and non-transgenic (NTg) mice treated with PBS. The treatment with scFv-h3D6 was unequivocally effective in reducing the area of A? staining. Furthermore, a tendency for a reduction in tau levels was also observed after treatment that points to the interplay between A? and tau pathologies. The pro-inflammatory state observed in the 3xTg-AD mice did not progress after scFv-h3D6 treatment. In addition, the treatment did not alter the levels of apolipoprotein E or apolipoprotein J. Thus, a 2-week treatment with scFv-h3D6 was able to reduce AD-like pathology in elderly 3xTg-AD female mice.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hypothalamic dysfunction occurs early in the clinical course of Alzheimer's disease (AD), likely contributing to disturbances in feeding behavior and metabolic function that are often observed years prior to the onset of cognitive symptoms. Late-life weight loss and low BMI are associated with increased risk of dementia and faster progression of disease. However, high-fat diet and metabolic disease (e.g., obesity, type 2 diabetes), particularly in mid-life, are associated with increased risk of AD, as well as exacerbated AD pathology and behavioral deficits in animal models. In the current study, we explored possible relationships between hypothalamic function, diet/metabolic status, and AD. Considering the sex bias in AD, with women representing two-thirds of AD patients, we sought to determine whether these relationships vary by sex. METHODS:WT and 3xTg-AD male and female mice were fed a control (10% fat) or high-fat (HF 60% fat) diet from ~ 3-7?months of age, then tested for metabolic and hypothalamic disturbances. RESULTS:On control diet, male 3xTg-AD mice displayed decreased body weight, reduced fat mass, hypoleptinemia, and mild systemic inflammation, as well as increased expression of gliosis- and inflammation-related genes in the hypothalamus (Iba1, GFAP, TNF-?, IL-1?). In contrast, female 3xTg-AD mice on control diet displayed metabolic disturbances opposite that of 3xTg-AD males (increased body and fat mass, impaired glucose tolerance). HF diet resulted in expected metabolic alterations across groups (increased body and fat mass; glucose intolerance; increased plasma insulin and leptin, decreased ghrelin; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease-related pathology). HF diet resulted in the greatest weight gain, adiposity, and glucose intolerance in 3xTg-AD females, which were associated with markedly increased hypothalamic expression of GFAP and IL-1?, as well as GFAP labeling in several hypothalamic nuclei that regulate energy balance. In contrast, HF diet increased diabetes markers and systemic inflammation preferentially in AD males but did not exacerbate hypothalamic inflammation in this group. CONCLUSIONS:These findings provide further evidence for the roles of hypothalamic and metabolic dysfunction in AD, which in the 3xTg-AD mouse model appears to be dependent on both sex and diet.
Project description:Psychosis and/or aggression are common problems in dementia, and when severe or persistent, cause considerable patient distress and disability, caregiver stress, and early institutionalization. In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that atypical antipsychotics were associated with a significantly greater mortality risk compared to placebo, which prompted the addition of an FDA black-box warning. The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) White Paper, 2008, reviewed this issue and made clinical and research recommendations regarding the use of antipsychotics in dementia patients with psychosis and/or agitation. Increased mortality risk has also been described in cerebrovascular adverse events in elderly users of antipsychotics. In the present work, at the translational level, we used male 3xTg-AD mice (PS1M146V, APPSwe, tauP301L) at advanced stages of the disease reported to have worse survival than females, to study the behavioral effects of a low chronic dose of risperidone (0.1 mg/kg, s.c., 90 days, from 13 to 16 months of age) and its impact on long-term survival, as compared to mice with normal aging. Animals were behaviorally assessed for cognitive and BPSD (behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia)-like symptoms in naturalistic and experimental conditions (open-field test, T-maze, social interaction, Morris water maze, and marble test) before and after treatment. Weight, basal glucose levels, and IPGTT (i.p. glucose tolerance test) were also recorded. Neophobia in the corner test was used for behavioral monitoring. Survival curves were recorded throughout the experiment until natural death. The benefits of risperidone were limited, both at cognitive and BPSD-like level, and mostly restricted to burying, agitation/vibrating tail, and other social behaviors. However, the work warns about a clear early mortality risk window during the treatment and long-lasting impact on survival. Reduced life expectancy and life span were observed in the 3xTg-AD mice, but total lifespan (36 months) recorded in C57BL/6 × 129Sv counterparts with normal aging was also truncated to 28 months in those with treatment. Sarcopenia at time of death was found in all groups, but was more severe in wild-type animals treated with risperidone. Therefore, the 3xTg-AD mice and their non-transgenic counterparts can be useful to delimitate critical time windows and for studying the physio-pathogenic factors and underlying causal events involved in this topic of considerable public health significance.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized in the late stages by amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Nevertheless, recent evidence has indicated that early changes in cerebral connectivity could compromise cognitive functions even before the appearance of the classical neuropathological features. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and volumetry were performed in the triple transgenic mouse model of AD (3xTg-AD) at 2 months of age, prior to the development of intraneuronal plaque accumulation. We found the 3xTg-AD had significant fractional anisotropy (FA) increase and radial diffusivity (RD) decrease in the cortex compared with wild-type controls, while axial diffusivity (AD) and mean diffusivity (MD) were similar. Interhemispheric hippocampal connectivity was decreased in the 3xTg-AD while connectivity in the caudate putamen (CPu) was similar to controls. Most surprising, ventricular volume in the 3xTg-AD was four times larger than controls. The results obtained in this study characterize the early stage changes in interhemispheric hippocampal connectivity in the 3xTg-AD mouse that could represent a translational biomarker to human models in preclinical stages of the AD.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, so far, there are no effective measures to prevent and cure this deadly condition. Ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1) was shown to improve behavioral abnormalities in AD; however, the potential mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we pretreated 7-month-old 3xTg-AD mice for 6 weeks with Rg1 and evaluated the effects of Rg1 on the behaviors and the protein expression of hippocampal tissues. The behavioral tests showed that Rg1 could improve the memory impairment and ameliorate the depression-like behaviors of 3xTg-AD mice. Proteomic results revealed a total of 28 differentially expressed hippocampal proteins between Rg1-treated and nontreated 3xTg-AD mice. Among these proteins, complexin-2 (CPLX2), synapsin-2 (SYN2), and synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNP25) were significantly downregulated in the hippocampus of 3xTg-AD mice compared with the WT mice, and the treatment of Rg1 modulated the expression of CPLX2 and SNP25 in the hippocampus of 3xTg-AD mice. The expression of CPLX2, SYN2, and SNP25 was further validated by Western blot analysis. Taken together, we concluded that Rg1 could be a potential candidate drug to improve the behavioral deficits in AD via modulating the expression of the proteins (i.e., CPLX2, SYN2, and SNP25).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Clinicopathological studies are important in determining the brain lesions underlying dementia. Although almost 60% of individuals with dementia live in developing countries, few clinicopathological studies focus on these individuals. We investigated the frequency of neurodegenerative and vascular-related neuropathological lesions in 1,092 Brazilian admixed older adults, their correlation with cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms, and the accuracy of dementia subtype diagnosis. METHODS AND FINDINGS:In this cross-sectional study, we describe clinical and neuropathological variables related to cognitive impairment in 1,092 participants (mean age = 74 y, 49% male, 69% white, and mean education = 4 y). Cognitive function was investigated using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) and the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE); neuropsychiatric symptoms were evaluated using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Associations between neuropathological lesions and cognitive impairment were investigated using ordinal logistic regression. We developed a neuropathological comorbidity (NPC) score and compared it to CDR, IQCODE, and NPI scores. We also described and compared the frequency of neuropathological diagnosis to clinical diagnosis of dementia subtype. Forty-four percent of the sample met criteria for neuropathological diagnosis. Among these participants, 50% had neuropathological diagnoses of Alzheimer disease (AD), and 35% of vascular dementia (VaD). Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), hippocampal sclerosis, lacunar infarcts, hyaline atherosclerosis, siderocalcinosis, and Lewy body disease were independently associated with cognitive impairment. Higher NPC scores were associated with worse scores in the CDR sum of boxes (? = 1.33, 95% CI 1.20-1.46), IQCODE (? = 0.14, 95% CI 0.13-0.16), and NPI (? = 1.74, 95% CI = 1.33-2.16). Compared to neuropathological diagnoses, clinical diagnosis had high sensitivity to AD and high specificity to dementia with Lewy body/Parkinson dementia. The major limitation of our study is the lack of clinical follow-up of participants during life. CONCLUSIONS:NFT deposition, vascular lesions, and high NPC scorewere associated with cognitive impairment in a unique Brazilian sample with low education. Our results confirm the high prevalence of neuropathological diagnosis in older adults and the mismatch between clinical and neuropathological diagnoses.
Project description:Besides memory deficits, Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients suffer from neuropsychiatric symptoms, including alterations in social interactions, which are subject of a growing number of investigations in transgenic models of AD. Yet the biological mechanisms underlying these behavioural alterations are poorly understood. Here, a social interaction paradigm was used to assess social dysfunction in the triple-transgenic mouse model of AD (3xTg-AD). We observed that transgenic mice displayed dimorphic behavioural abnormalities at different ages. Social disinhibition was observed in 18 months old 3xTg-AD males compared to age and sex-matched control mice. In 3xTg-AD females, social disinhibition was present at 12 months followed by reduced social interactions at 18 months. These dimorphic behavioural alterations were not associated with alterations in AD neuropathological markers such as A? or tau levels in the frontal cortex. However, patch-clamp recordings revealed that enhanced social interactions coincided temporally with an increase in both excitatory and inhibitory basal synaptic inputs to layer 2-3 pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex. These findings uncover a novel pattern of occurrence of psychiatric-like symptoms between sexes in an AD model. Our results also reveal that functional alterations in synapse activity appear as a potentially significant substrate underlying behavioural correlates of AD.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. In the pathogenesis of AD a pivotal role is played by two neurotoxic proteins that aggregate and accumulate in the central nervous system: amyloid beta and hyper-phosphorylated tau. Accumulation of extracellular amyloid beta plaques and intracellular hyper-phosphorylated tau tangles, and consequent neuronal loss begins 10-15 years before any cognitive impairment. In addition to cognitive and behavioral deficits, sensorial abnormalities have been described in AD patients and in some AD transgenic mouse models. Retina can be considered a simple model of the brain, as some pathological changes and therapeutic strategies from the brain may be observed or applicable to the retina. Here we propose new retinal biomarkers that could anticipate the AD diagnosis and help the beginning and the follow-up of possible future treatments. We analyzed retinal tissue of triple-transgenic AD mouse model (3xTg-AD) for the presence of pathological hallmarks during disease progression. We found the presence of amyloid beta plaques, tau tangles, neurodegeneration, and astrogliosis in the retinal ganglion cell layer of 3xTg-AD mice, already at pre-symptomatic stage. Moreover, retinal microglia in pre-symptomatic mice showed a ramified, anti-inflammatory phenotype which, during disease progression, switches to a pro-inflammatory, less ramified one, becoming neurotoxic. We hypothesize retina as a window through which monitor AD-related neurodegeneration process.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of age-related dementia. Neuropathological hallmarks of AD include brain deposition of β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and accumulation of both hyperphosphorylated and acetylated tau. RGFP-966, a brain-penetrant and selective HDAC3 inhibitor, or HDAC3 silencing, increases BDNF expression, increases histone H3 and H4 acetylation, decreases tau phosphorylation and tau acetylation at disease-associated sites, reduces β-secretase cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), and decreases Aβ1-42 accumulation in HEK-293 cells overexpressing APP with the double Swedish mutation (HEK/APPsw). In the triple transgenic AD mouse model (3xTg-AD), repeated administration of 3 and 10 mg/kg of RGFP-966 reverses pathological tau phosphorylation at Thr181, Ser202, and Ser396, increases levels of the Aβ degrading enzyme Neprilysin in plasma, decreases Aβ1-42 protein levels in the brain and periphery, and improves spatial learning and memory. Finally, we show that RGFP-966 decreases Aβ1-42 accumulation and both tau acetylation and phosphorylation at disease residues in neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells obtained from APOEε4-carrying AD patients. These data indicate that HDAC3 plays an important regulatory role in the expression and regulation of proteins associated with AD pathophysiology, supporting the notion that HDAC3 may be a disease-modifying therapeutic target.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Centenarian studies are important sources for understanding of factors that contribute to longevity and healthy aging. Clinico-neuropathological finding is a key in identifying pathology and factors contributing to age-related cognitive decline and dementia in the oldest old. OBJECTIVE:To characterize the cross-sectional relationship between neuropathologies and measures of premortem cognitive performance in centenarians. METHODS:Data were acquired from 49 centenarians (?98 years) from the Georgia Centenarian Study. Cognitive assessment from the time point closest to mortality was used (<1 year for all subjects) and scores for cognitive domains were established. Neuropathologies [cerebral atrophy, ventricular dilation, atherosclerosis, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), Lewy bodies, hippocampal sclerosis (HS), hippocampal TDP-43 proteinopathy, neuritic plaque (NP) and neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) counts, Braak staging, and National Institute on Aging-Reagan Institute (NIARI) criteria for the neuropathological diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD)] were compared among subjects with different ratings of dementia. Linear regression was applied to evaluate the association between cognitive domain scores and neuropathologies. RESULTS:Wide ranges of AD-type neuropathological changes were observed in both non-demented and demented subjects. Neocortical NFT and Braak staging were related to clinical dementia rating. Neocortical NFT and NP, Braak and NIARI staging, cerebral and ventricular atrophy, HS, CAA, and TDP-43 proteinopathy were differentially associated with poor performance in multiple cognitive domains and activities of daily living. CONCLUSION:AD-type pathology was associated with severe dementia and poor cognition but was not the only variable that explained cognitive impairment, indicating the complexity and heterogeneity of pathophysiology of dementia in the oldest old.