APOE genotype regulates pathology and disease progression in synucleinopathy.
ABSTRACT: Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ?4 genotype is associated with increased risk of dementia in Parkinson's disease (PD), but the mechanism is not clear, because patients often have a mixture of ?-synuclein (?Syn), amyloid-? (A?), and tau pathologies. APOE ?4 exacerbates brain A? pathology, as well as tau pathology, but it is not clear whether APOE genotype independently regulates ?Syn pathology. In this study, we generated A53T ?Syn transgenic mice (A53T) on Apoe knockout (A53T/EKO) or human APOE knockin backgrounds (A53T/E2, E3, and E4). At 12 months of age, A53T/E4 mice accumulated higher amounts of brainstem detergent-insoluble phosphorylated ?Syn compared to A53T/EKO and A53T/E3; detergent-insoluble ?Syn in A53T/E2 mice was undetectable. By immunohistochemistry, A53T/E4 mice displayed a higher burden of phosphorylated ?Syn and reactive gliosis compared to A53T/E2 mice. A53T/E2 mice exhibited increased survival and improved motor performance compared to other APOE genotypes. In a complementary model of ?Syn spreading, striatal injection of ?Syn preformed fibrils induced greater accumulation of ?Syn pathology in the substantia nigra of A53T/E4 mice compared to A53T/E2 and A53T/EKO mice. In two separate cohorts of human patients with PD, APOE ?4/?4 individuals showed the fastest rate of cognitive decline over time. Our results demonstrate that APOE genotype directly regulates ?Syn pathology independent of its established effects on A? and tau, corroborate the finding that APOE ?4 exacerbates pathology, and suggest that APOE ?2 may protect against ?Syn aggregation and neurodegeneration in synucleinopathies.
Project description:APOE4 is the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease. ApoE4 increases brain amyloid-? pathology relative to other ApoE isoforms. However, whether APOE independently influences tau pathology, the other major proteinopathy of Alzheimer disease and other tauopathies, or tau-mediated neurodegeneration, is not clear. By generating P301S tau transgenic mice on either a human ApoE knock-in (KI) or ApoE knockout (KO) background, here we show that P301S/E4 mice have significantly higher tau levels in the brain and a greater extent of somatodendritic tau redistribution by three months of age compared with P301S/E2, P301S/E3, and P301S/EKO mice. By nine months of age, P301S mice with different ApoE genotypes display distinct phosphorylated tau protein (p-tau) staining patterns. P301S/E4 mice develop markedly more brain atrophy and neuroinflammation than P301S/E2 and P301S/E3 mice, whereas P301S/EKO mice are largely protected from these changes. In vitro, E4-expressing microglia exhibit higher innate immune reactivity after lipopolysaccharide treatment. Co-culturing P301S tau-expressing neurons with E4-expressing mixed glia results in a significantly higher level of tumour-necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) secretion and markedly reduced neuronal viability compared with neuron/E2 and neuron/E3 co-cultures. Neurons co-cultured with EKO glia showed the greatest viability with the lowest level of secreted TNF-?. Treatment of P301S neurons with recombinant ApoE (E2, E3, E4) also leads to some neuronal damage and death compared with the absence of ApoE, with ApoE4 exacerbating the effect. In individuals with a sporadic primary tauopathy, the presence of an ?4 allele is associated with more severe regional neurodegeneration. In individuals who are positive for amyloid-? pathology with symptomatic Alzheimer disease who usually have tau pathology, ?4-carriers demonstrate greater rates of disease progression. Our results demonstrate that ApoE affects tau pathogenesis, neuroinflammation, and tau-mediated neurodegeneration independently of amyloid-? pathology. ApoE4 exerts a 'toxic' gain of function whereas the absence of ApoE is protective.
Project description:One of the primary genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the presence of the ?4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE). APOE is a polymorphic lipoprotein that is a major cholesterol carrier in the brain. It is also involved in various cellular functions such as neuronal signaling, neuroinflammation and glucose metabolism. Humans predominantly possess three different allelic variants of APOE, termed E2, E3, and E4, with the E3 allele being the most common. The presence of the E4 allele is associated with increased risk of AD whereas E2 reduces the risk. To understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie APOE-related genetic risk, considerable effort has been devoted towards developing cellular and animal models. Data from these models indicate that APOE4 exacerbates amyloid ? plaque burden in a dose-dependent manner. and may also enhance tau pathogenesis in an isoform-dependent manner. Other studies have suggested APOE4 increases the risk of AD by mechanisms that are distinct from modulation of A? or tau pathology. Further, whether plasma APOE, by influencing systemic metabolic pathways, can also possibly alter CNS function indirectly is not complete;y understood. Collectively, the available studies suggest that APOE may impact multiple signaling pathways and thus investigators have sought therapeutics that would disrupt pathological functions of APOE while preserving or enhancing beneficial functions. This review will highlight some of the therapeutic strategies that are currently being pursued to target APOE4 towards preventing or treating AD and we will discuss additional strategies that holds promise for the future.
Project description:Abnormal intraneuronal accumulation of the presynaptic protein ?-synuclein (?-syn) is implicated in the etiology of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD). Recent work revealed that mice expressing human ?-syn with the alanine-53-threonine (A53T) mutation have a similar phenotype to the human condition, exhibiting long-term potentiation deficits, learning and memory deficits, and inhibitory hippocampal remodeling, all of which were reversed by genetic ablation of microtubule-associated protein tau. Significantly, memory deficits were associated with histological signs of network hyperactivity/seizures. Electrophysiological abnormalities are often seen in parkinsonian dementias. Baseline electroencephalogram (EEG) slowing is used as a supportive diagnostic feature in DLB and PDD, and patients with these diseases may exhibit indicators of broad network dysfunction such as sleep dysregulation, myoclonus, and seizures. Given the translational significance, we examined whether human A53T ?-syn expressing mice exhibit endogenous-tau-dependent EEG abnormalities, as measured with epidural electrodes over the frontal and parietal cortices. Using template-based waveform sorting, we determined that A53T mice have significantly high numbers of epileptiform events as early as 3-4 months of age and throughout life, and this effect is markedly attenuated in the absence of tau. Epileptic myoclonus occurred in half of A53T mice and was markedly reduced by tau ablation. In spectral analysis, tau ablation partially reduced EEG slowing in 6-7 month transgenic mice. We found abnormal sleeping patterns in transgenic mice that were more pronounced in older groups, but did not find evidence that this was influenced by tau genotype. Together, these data support the notion that tau facilitates A53T ?-syn-induced hyperexcitability that both precedes and coincides with associated synaptic, cognitive, and behavioral effects. Tau also contributes to some aspects of EEG slowing in A53T mice. Importantly, our work supports tau-based approaches as an effective early intervention in ?-synucleinopathies to treat aberrant network activity.
Project description:α-Synuclein (α-syn)-induced neurotoxicity has been generally accepted as a key step in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). Microtubule-associated protein tau, which is considered second only to α-syn, has been repeatedly linked with PD in association studies. However, the underlying interaction between these two PD-related proteins in vivo remains unclear. To investigate how the expression of tau affects α-syn-induced neurodegeneration in vivo, we generated triple transgenic mice that overexpressed α-syn A53T mutation in the midbrain dopaminergic neurons (mDANs) with different expression levels of tau. Here, we found that tau had no significant effect on the A53T α-syn-mediated mDANs degeneration. However, tau knockout could modestly promote the formation of α-syn aggregates, accelerate the severe and progressive degeneration of parvalbumin-positive (PV<sup>+</sup>) neurons in substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNR), accompanied with anxiety-like behavior in aged PD-related α-syn A53T mice. The mechanisms may be associated with A53T α-syn-mediated specifically successive impairment of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunit 2B (NR2B), postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95) and microtubule-associated protein 1A (MAP1A) in PV<sup>+</sup> neurons. Our study indicates that MAP1A may play a beneficial role in preserving the survival of PV<sup>+</sup> neurons, and that inhibition of the impairment of NR2B/PSD-95/MAP1A pathway, may be a novel and preferential option to ameliorate α-syn-induced neurodegeneration.
Project description:The apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene contains both the major common risk variant for late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD), e4, and the major neuroprotective variant, e2. Here we examine the association of APOE e2 with multiple neurodegenerative pathologies, leveraging the NACC v. 10 database of 1557 brains that included 130 e2 carriers and 679 e4 carriers in order to examine potential neuroprotective effects. For AD-related pathologies of amyloid plaques and Braak stage, e2 had large and highly significant protective effects contrasted with e3/e3 and e4 carriers with odds ratios of about 0.50 for e3 contrasts and 0.10 for e4 contrasts. When we separately examined e2/e4 carriers, risk for AD pathologies was similar to that of e4 carriers, not e2 carriers. For multiple fronto-temporal lobar pathologies and tauopathies, e2 was not significantly associated with pathology. In sum, we found that e2 was associated with large but circumscribed protective effects.
Project description:Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is a secreted apolipoprotein with three isoforms, E2, E3, and E4, that binds to lipids and facilitates their transport in the extracellular environment of the brain and the periphery. The E4 allele is a major genetic risk factor for the sporadic form of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and studies of human brain and mouse models have revealed that E4 significantly exacerbates the deposition of amyloid beta (Aβ). It has been suggested that this deposition could be attributed to the formation of soluble ApoE isoform-specific ApoE-Aβ complexes. However, previous studies have reported conflicting results regarding the directionality and strength of those interactions. In this study, using a series of flow cytometry assays that maintain the physiological integrity of ApoE-Aβ complexes, we systematically assessed the association of Aβ with ApoE2, E3, or E4. We used ApoE secreted from HEK cells or astrocytes overexpressing ApoE fused with a GFP tag. As a source of soluble Aβ peptide, we used synthetic Aβ40 or Aβ42 or physiological Aβ secreted from CHO cell lines overexpressing WT or V717F variant amyloid precursor protein (APP). We observed significant interactions between the different ApoE isoforms and Aβ, with E4 interacting with Aβ more strongly than the E2 and E3 isoforms. We also found subtle differences depending on the Aβ type and the ApoE-producing cell type. In conclusion, these results indicate that the strength of the ApoE-Aβ association depends on the source of Aβ or ApoE.
Project description:Both ?-Synuclein (?Syn) accumulation and mitochondrial dysfunction have been implicated in the pathology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Although studies suggest that ?Syn and its missense mutant, A53T, preferentially accumulate in the mitochondria, the mechanisms by which ?Syn and mitochondrial proteins regulate each other to trigger mitochondrial and neuronal toxicity are poorly understood. ATP-dependent Clp protease (ClpP), a mitochondrial matrix protease, plays an important role in regulating mitochondrial protein turnover and bioenergetics activity. Here, we show that the protein level of ClpP is selectively decreased in ?Syn-expressing cell culture and neurons derived from iPS cells of PD patient carrying ?Syn A53T mutant, and in dopaminergic (DA) neurons of ?Syn A53T mice and PD patient postmortem brains. Deficiency in ClpP induces an overload of mitochondrial misfolded/unfolded proteins, suppresses mitochondrial respiratory activity, increases mitochondrial oxidative damage and causes cell death. Overexpression of ClpP reduces ?Syn-induced mitochondrial oxidative stress through enhancing the level of Superoxide Dismutase-2 (SOD2), and suppresses the accumulation of ?Syn S129 phosphorylation and promotes neuronal morphology in neurons derived from PD patient iPS cells carrying ?Syn A53T mutant. Moreover, we find that ?Syn WT and A53T mutant interact with ClpP and suppress its peptidase activity. The binding of ?Syn to ClpP further promotes a distribution of ClpP from soluble to insoluble cellular fraction in vitro and in vivo, leading to reduced solubility of ClpP. Compensating for the loss of ClpP in the substantia nigra of ?Syn A53T mice by viral expression of ClpP suppresses mitochondrial oxidative damage, and reduces ?Syn pathology and behavioral deficits of mice. Our findings provide novel insights into the mechanism underlying ?Syn-induced neuronal pathology, and they suggest that ClpP might be a useful therapeutic target for PD and other synucleinopathies.
Project description:In addition to tau and Aβ pathologies, inflammation plays an important role in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Variants in APOE and TREM2 increase AD risk. ApoE4 exacerbates tau-linked neurodegeneration and inflammation in P301S tau mice and removal of microglia blocks tau-dependent neurodegeneration. Microglia adopt a heterogeneous population of transcriptomic states in response to pathology, at least some of which are dependent on TREM2. Previously, we reported that knockout (KO) of TREM2 attenuated neurodegeneration in P301S mice that express mouse Apoe. Because of the possible common pathway of ApoE and TREM2 in AD, we tested whether TREM2 KO (T2KO) would block neurodegeneration in P301S Tau mice expressing ApoE4 (TE4), similar to that observed with microglial depletion. Surprisingly, we observed exacerbated neurodegeneration and tau pathology in TE4-T2KO versus TE4 mice, despite decreased TREM2-dependent microgliosis. Our results suggest that tau pathology-dependent microgliosis, that is, TREM2-independent microgliosis, facilitates tau-mediated neurodegeneration in the presence of ApoE4.
Project description:Apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) is the major genetic risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is characterized by amyloid β (Aβ) plaques and tau tangles. Though the role of APOE4 in Aβ pathogenesis has been mechanistically defined in rodent models, much less is known regarding the relationship of APOE4 to tau pathogenesis. Recent studies have indicated a possible correlation between APOE isoform-dependent alterations in tau pathology and neurodegeneration. To explore whether neuronal expression of APOE4 triggers tauopathy, here we delivered adeno-associated viruses (AAV) expressing human APOE4 in two different models of tauopathy-rTg4510 and PS19 lines. Intracerebroventricular delivery of AAV-APOE4 in neonatal rTg4510 and PS19 mice resulted in increased APOE4 protein in neurons but did not result in altered phosphorylated tau burden, pretangle tau pathology, or silver-positive tangle pathology. Biochemical analysis of synaptic proteins did not reveal substantial alterations. Our results indicate that over-expression of APOE4 in neurons, using an AAV-mediated approache, is not sufficient to accelerate or otherwise alter the inherent tau pathology that occurs in mice overexpressing mutant human tau.
Project description:Polymorphic alleles in the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene are the main genetic determinants of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. Individuals carrying the APOE E4 allele are at increased risk to develop AD compared to those carrying the more common E3 allele, whereas those carrying the E2 allele are at decreased risk for developing AD. How ApoE isoforms influence risk for AD remains unclear. To help fill this gap in knowledge, we performed a comparative unbiased mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis of post-mortem brain cortical tissues from pathologically-defined AD or control cases of different APOE genotypes. Control cases (n = 10) were homozygous for the common E3 allele, whereas AD cases (n = 24) were equally distributed among E2/3, E3/3, and E4/4 genotypes. We used differential protein expression and co-expression analytical approaches to assess how changes in the brain proteome are related to APOE genotype. We observed similar levels of amyloid-?, but reduced levels of neurofibrillary tau, in E2/3 brains compared to E3/3 and E4/4 AD brains. Weighted co-expression network analysis revealed 33 modules of co-expressed proteins, 12 of which were significantly different by APOE genotype in AD. The modules that were significantly different by APOE genotype were associated with synaptic transmission and inflammation, among other biological processes. Deconvolution and analysis of brain cell type changes revealed that the E2 allele suppressed homeostatic and disease-associated cell type changes in astrocytes, microglia, oligodendroglia, and endothelia. The E2 allele-specific effect on brain cell type changes was validated in a separate cohort of 130 brains. Our systems-level proteomic analyses of AD brain reveal alterations in the brain proteome and brain cell types associated with allelic variants in APOE, and suggest further areas for investigation into the upstream mechanisms that drive ApoE-associated risk for AD.