Dissociable cognitive impairments in two strains of transgenic Alzheimer's disease mice revealed by a battery of object-based tests.
ABSTRACT: Object recognition tasks detect cognitive deficits in transgenic Alzheimer's disease (AD) mouse models. Object recognition, however, is not a unitary process, and there are many uncharacterized facets of object processing with relevance to AD. We therefore systematically evaluated object processing in 5xFAD and 3xTG AD mice to clarify the nature of object recognition-related deficits. Twelve-month-old male and female 5xFAD and 3xTG mice were assessed on tasks for object identity recognition, spatial recognition, and multisensory object perception. Memory and multisensory perceptual impairments were observed, with interesting dissociations between transgenic AD strains and sex that paralleled neuropathological changes. Overreliance on the widespread "object recognition" task threatens to slow discovery of potentially significant and clinically relevant behavioural effects related to this multifaceted cognitive function. The current results support the use of carefully designed object-based test batteries to clarify the relationship between "object recognition" impairments and specific aspects of AD pathology in rodent models.
Project description:Memory impairments in Alzheimer's disease (AD) occur due to degenerated axons and disrupted neural networks. Since only limited recovery is possible after the destruction of neural networks, preventing axonal degeneration during the early stages of disease progression is necessary to prevent AD. Polygalae Radix (roots of Polygala tenuifolia; PR) is a traditional herbal medicine used for sedation and amnesia. In this study, we aimed to clarify and analyze the preventive effects of PR against memory deficits in a transgenic AD mouse model, 5XFAD. 5XFAD mice demonstrated memory deficits at the age of 5 months. Thus, the water extract of Polygalae Radix (PR extract) was orally administered to 4-month-old 5XFAD mice that did not show signs of memory impairment. After consecutive administrations for 56 days, the PR extract prevented cognitive deficit and axon degeneration associated with the accumulation of amyloid ? (A?) plaques in the perirhinal cortex of the 5XFAD mice. PR extract did not influence the formation of A? plaques in the brain of the 5XFAD mice. In cultured neurons, the PR extract prevented axonal growth cone collapse and axonal atrophy induced by A?. Additionally, it prevented A?-induced endocytosis at the growth cone of cultured neurons. Our previous study reported that endocytosis inhibition was enough to prevent A?-induced growth cone collapse, axonal degeneration, and memory impairments. Therefore, the PR extract possibly prevented axonal degeneration and memory impairment by inhibiting endocytosis. PR is the first preventive drug candidate for AD that inhibits endocytosis in neurons.
Project description:Defects in neuronal activity of the entorhinal cortex (EC) are suspected to underlie the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Whereas neuroprotective effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been described, the effects of DHA on the physiology of EC neurons remain unexplored in animal models of AD. Here, we show that DHA consumption improved object recognition (?12%), preventing deficits observed in old 3xTg-AD mice (?12%). Moreover, 3xTg-AD mice displayed seizure-like akinetic episodes, not detected in NonTg littermates and partly prevented by DHA (?50%). Patch-clamp recording revealed that 3xTg-AD EC neurons displayed (i) loss of cell capacitance (CC), suggesting reduced membrane surface area; (ii) increase of firing rate versus injected current (F-I) curve associated with modified action potentials, and (iii) overactivation of glutamatergic synapses, without changes in synaptophysin levels. DHA consumption increased CC (?12%) and decreased F-I slopes (?21%), thereby preventing the opposite alterations observed in 3xTg-AD mice. Our results indicate that cognitive performance and basic physiology of EC neurons depend on DHA intake in a mouse model of AD.
Project description:We recently reported that adeno-associated virus serotype 1-constitutively active Ras homolog enriched in brain [AAV1-Rheb(S16H)] transduction of hippocampal neurons could induce neuron-astroglia interactions in the rat hippocampus in vivo, resulting in neuroprotection. However, it remains uncertain whether AAV1-Rheb(S16H) transduction induces neurotrophic effects and preserves the cognitive memory in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with characteristic phenotypic features, such as ?-amyloid (A?) accumulation and cognitive impairments. To assess the therapeutic potential of Rheb(S16H) in AD, we have examined the beneficial effects of AAV1-Rheb(S16H) administration in the 5XFAD mouse model. Rheb(S16H) transduction of hippocampal neurons in the 5XFAD mice increased the levels of neurotrophic signaling molecules, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), and their corresponding receptors, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) and CNTF receptor ? subunit (CNTFR?), respectively. In addition, Rheb(S16H) transduction inhibited A? production and accumulation in the hippocampus of 5XFAD mice and protected the decline of long-term potentiation (LTP), resulting in the prevention of cognitive impairments, which was demonstrated using novel object recognition testing. These results indicate that Rheb(S16H) transduction of hippocampal neurons may have therapeutic potential in AD by inhibiting A? accumulation and preserving LTP associated with cognitive memory.
Project description:Schizophrenia is a complex and debilitating disorder, characterized by positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms. Among the cognitive deficits observed in patients with schizophrenia, recent work has indicated abnormalities in multisensory integration, a process that is important for the formation of comprehensive environmental percepts and for the appropriate guidance of behavior. Very little is known about the neural bases of such multisensory integration deficits, partly because of the lack of viable behavioral tasks to assess this process in animal models. In this study, we used our recently developed rodent cross-modal object recognition (CMOR) task to investigate multisensory integration functions in rats treated sub-chronically with one of two N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists, MK-801, or ketamine; such treatment is known to produce schizophrenia-like symptoms. Rats treated with the NMDAR antagonists were impaired on the standard spontaneous object recognition (SOR) task, unimodal (tactile or visual only) versions of SOR, and the CMOR task with intermediate to long retention delays between acquisition and testing phases, but they displayed a selective CMOR task deficit when mnemonic demand was minimized. This selective impairment in multisensory information processing was dose-dependently reversed by acute systemic administration of nicotine. These findings suggest that persistent NMDAR hypofunction may contribute to the multisensory integration deficits observed in patients with schizophrenia and highlight the valuable potential of the CMOR task to facilitate further systematic investigation of the neural bases of, and potential treatments for, this hitherto overlooked aspect of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.
Project description:Obesity is recognized as a significant risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Studies have supported that obesity accelerates AD-related pathophysiology and memory impairment in mouse models of AD. However, the nature of the brain structure-behaviour relationship mediating this acceleration remains unclear. In this manuscript we evaluated the impact of adolescent obesity on the brain morphology of the triple transgenic mouse model of AD (3xTg) and a non-transgenic control model of the same background strain (B6129s) using longitudinally acquired structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). At 8 weeks of age, animals were placed on a high-fat diet (HFD) or an ingredient-equivalent control diet (CD). Structural images were acquired at 8, 16, and 24 weeks. At 25 weeks, animals underwent the novel object recognition (NOR) task and the Morris water maze (MWM) to assess short-term non-associative memory and spatial memory, respectively. All analyses were carried out across four groups: B6129s-CD and -HFD and 3xTg-CD and -HFD. Neuroanatomical changes in MRI-derived brain morphology were assessed using volumetric and deformation-based analyses. HFD-induced obesity during adolescence exacerbated brain volume alterations by adult life in the 3xTg mouse model in comparison to control-fed mice and mediated volumetric alterations of select brain regions, such as the hippocampus. Further, HFD-induced obesity aggravated memory in all mice, lowering certain memory measures of B6129s control mice to the level of 3xTg mice maintained on a CD. Moreover, decline in the volumetric trajectories of hippocampal regions for all mice were associated with the degree of spatial memory impairments on the MWM. Our results suggest that obesity may interact with the brain changes associated with AD-related pathology in the 3xTg mouse model to aggravate brain atrophy and memory impairments and similarly impair brain structural integrity and memory capacity of non-transgenic mice. Further insight into this process may have significant implications in the development of lifestyle interventions for treatment of AD.
Project description:Recognition memory requires processing of various types of information such as objects and locations. Impairment in recognition memory is a prominent feature of amnesia and a symptom of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Basal forebrain cholinergic neurons contain two major groups, one localized in the medial septum (MS)/vertical diagonal band of Broca (vDB), and the other in the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM). The roles of these cell groups in recognition memory have been debated, and it remains unclear how they contribute to it. We use a genetic cell targeting technique to selectively eliminate cholinergic cell groups and then test spatial and object recognition memory through different behavioural tasks. Eliminating MS/vDB neurons impairs spatial but not object recognition memory in the reference and working memory tasks, whereas NBM elimination undermines only object recognition memory in the working memory task. These impairments are restored by treatment with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, anti-dementia drugs for AD. Our results highlight that MS/vDB and NBM cholinergic neurons are not only implicated in recognition memory but also have essential roles in different types of recognition memory.
Project description:Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays crucial roles in memory impairments including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previous studies have reported that tetrasialoganglioside GQ1b is involved in long-term potentiation and cognitive functions as well as BDNF expression. However, in vitro and in vivo functions of GQ1b against AD has not investigated yet. Consequently, treatment of oligomeric Aβ followed by GQ1b significantly restores Aβ1-42-induced cell death through BDNF up-regulation in primary cortical neurons. Bilateral infusion of GQ1b into the hippocampus ameliorates cognitive deficits in the triple-transgenic AD mouse model (3xTg-AD). GQ1b-infused 3xTg-AD mice had substantially increased BDNF levels compared with artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF)-treated 3xTg-AD mice. Interestingly, we also found that GQ1b administration into hippocampus of 3xTg-AD mice reduces Aβ plaque deposition and tau phosphorylation, which correlate with APP protein reduction and phospho-GSK3β level increase, respectively. These findings demonstrate that the tetrasialoganglioside GQ1b may contribute to a potential strategy of AD treatment.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease associated with cognitive deficits and synaptic impairments. Amyloid-? (A?) plaque deposition, dystrophic neurite accumulation and neurofibrillary tangles are pathological hallmarks of AD. TMEM59 has been implicated to play a role in AD pathogenesis; however, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Herein, we found that overexpression of TMEM59 in the hippocampal region led to memory impairment in wild type mice, suggesting its neurotoxic role. Interestingly, while TMEM59 overexpression had no effect on worsening synaptic defects and impaired memory in the 5xFAD mouse model of AD, it significantly exacerbated AD-like pathologies by increasing levels of detergent-insoluble A? and A? plaques, as well as dystrophic neurites. Importantly, haploinsufficiency of TMEM59 reduced insoluble A? levels, A? plaques, and neurite dystrophy, thereby rescuing synaptic plasticity and memory deficits in 5xFAD mice. Moreover, the level of TMEM59 in the brain of 5xFAD mice increased compared to wild type mice during aging, further corroborating its detrimental functions during neurodegeneration. Together, these results demonstrate a novel function of TMEM59 in AD pathogenesis and provide a potential therapeutic strategy by downregulating TMEM59.
Project description:The form(s) of amyloid-? peptide (A?) associated with the pathology characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains unclear. In particular, the neurotoxicity of intraneuronal A? accumulation is an issue of considerable controversy; even the existence of A? deposits within neurons has recently been challenged by Winton and co-workers. These authors purport that it is actually intraneuronal APP that is being detected by antibodies thought to be specific for A?. To further address this issue, an anti-A? antibody was developed (MOAB-2) that specifically detects A?, but not APP. This antibody allows for the further evaluation of the early accumulation of intraneuronal A? in transgenic mice with increased levels of human A? in 5xFAD and 3xTg mice.MOAB-2 (mouse IgG2b) is a pan-specific, high-titer antibody to A? residues 1-4 as demonstrated by biochemical and immunohistochemical analyses (IHC), particularly compared to 6E10 (a commonly used commercial antibody to A? residues 3-8). MOAB-2 did not detect APP or APP-CTFs in cell culture media/lysates (HEK-APPSwe or HEK-APPSwe/BACE1) or in brain homogenates from transgenic mice expressing 5 familial AD (FAD) mutation (5xFAD mice). Using IHC on 5xFAD brain tissue, MOAB-2 immunoreactivity co-localized with C-terminal antibodies specific for A?40 and A?42. MOAB-2 did not co-localize with either N- or C-terminal antibodies to APP. In addition, no MOAB-2-immunoreactivity was observed in the brains of 5xFAD/BACE-/- mice, although significant amounts of APP were detected by N- and C-terminal antibodies to APP, as well as by 6E10. In both 5xFAD and 3xTg mouse brain tissue, MOAB-2 co-localized with cathepsin-D, a marker for acidic organelles, further evidence for intraneuronal A?, distinct from A? associated with the cell membrane. MOAB-2 demonstrated strong intraneuronal and extra-cellular immunoreactivity in 5xFAD and 3xTg mouse brain tissues.Both intraneuronal A? accumulation and extracellular A? deposition was demonstrated in 5xFAD mice and 3xTg mice with MOAB-2, an antibody that will help differentiate intracellular A? from APP. However, further investigation is required to determine whether a molecular mechanism links the presence of intraneuronal A? with neurotoxicity. As well, understanding the relevance of these observations to human AD patients is critical.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder associated with cognitive impairment and later dementia among the elderly. Mounting evidence shows that adverse maternal environments during the fetal development increase the risk of diseases later in life including neurological disorders, and suggests an early origin in the development of AD-related dementia (ADRD) in utero. In the present study, we investigated the impact of antenatal hypoxia and fetal stress on the initiation of AD-related pathology in offspring of 5xFAD mice. We showed that fetal hypoxia significantly reduced brain and body weight in the fetal and the early postnatal period, which recovered in young adult mice. Using spontaneous Y-maze, novel object recognition (NOR), and open field (OF) tasks, we found that antenatal hypoxia exacerbated cognitive decline in offspring of 5xFAD compared with normoxia control. Of interest, fetal hypoxia did not alter intraneuronal soluble amyloid-? (A?) oligomer accumulation in the cortex and hippocampus in 5xFAD mouse offspring, indicating that antenatal hypoxia increased the vulnerability of the brain to synaptotoxic A? in the disease onset later in life. Consistent with the early occurrence of cognitive decline, we found synapse loss but not neuronal death in the cerebral cortex in 5xFAD but not wild-type (WT) offspring exposed to antenatal hypoxia. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that antenatal hypoxia significantly increased microglial number and activation, and reactive astrogliosis in the cerebral cortex in WT offspring. Moreover, antenatal hypoxia resulted in an exacerbated increase of microgliosis and astrogliosis in the early stage of AD in 5xFAD offspring. Together, our study reveals a causative link between fetal stress and the accelerated onset of AD-related pathology, and provides mechanistic insights into the developmental origin of aging-related neurodegenerative disorders.