Therapeutic potential of a TrkB agonistic antibody for Alzheimer's disease.
ABSTRACT: Repeated failures of "A?-lowering" therapies call for new targets and therapeutic approaches for Alzheimer's disease (AD). We propose to treat AD by halting neuronal death and repairing synapses using a BDNF-based therapy. To overcome the poor druggability of BDNF, we have developed an agonistic antibody AS86 to mimic the function of BDNF, and evaluate its therapeutic potential for AD. Method: Biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioral techniques were used to investigate the effects of AS86 in vitro and in vivo. Results: AS86 specifically activated the BDNF receptor TrkB and its downstream signaling, without affecting its other receptor p75NTR. It promoted neurite outgrowth, enhanced spine growth and prevented A?-induced cell death in cultured neurons, and facilitated Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal slices. A single-dose tail-vein injection of AS86 activated TrkB signaling in the brain, with a half-life of 6 days in the blood and brain. Bi-weekly peripheral administration of AS86 rescued the deficits in object-recognition memory in the APP/PS1 mouse model. AS86 also reversed spatial memory deficits in the 11-month, but not 14-month old AD mouse model. Conclusion: These results demonstrate the potential of AS86 in AD therapy, suggesting that neuronal and/or synaptic repair as an alternative therapeutic strategy for AD.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD), a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by impairments of cognitive function as a result of synaptic deficits and neuronal loss, is associated with inflammation. Apelin-13, a predominant neuropeptide with inhibiting effect on inflammation, has beneficial effects on cognition memory and neuronal damage. However, whether apelin-13 can protect neurons to ameliorate cognitive deficits in AD by inhibiting the inflammatory response remains largely unknown. To test this hypothesis, rats were intracerebroventricularly (ICV) injected with streptozotocin (3 mg/kg) alone or in combination with apelin-13 (2 ?g). And tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB) blocker K252a (200 nM) was administrated 10 min before apelin injection. Furthermore, cognitive performance was assessed by new object recognition (NOR) and Y-maze tests. Protein expression of apelin, APJ, microglial marker (IBA1), astroglia marker (GFAP), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1?), tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?), synaptophysin (SYP), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), TrkB, phospho-TrkB (p-TrkB) in the hippocampus were examined by western blotting or immunohistochemistry. And the gene expression of IBA1, GFAP, IL-1?, TNF-?, and SYP were detected by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Inflammatory disorder in the hippocampus was tested by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to study the expression level of acetylcholine. And the activity of acetylcholinesterase was detected by Acetylcholinesterase Assay Kit. We observed that apelin/APJ signaling was downregulated in the hippocampus of rats administrated with STZ. Apelin-13 was found to significantly ameliorate STZ-induced AD-like phenotypes including congnitive deficit, cholinergic disfunction and the damage of neuron and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, apelin-13 inhibited microglia and astrocyte activation, reduced IL-1? and TNF-? expression and hippocampal BDNF/TrkB expression deficit in AD rats. Finally, apelin-13-mediated effects were blocked by TrkB receptor antagonist K252a. These results suggest that apelin-13 upregulates BDNF/TrkB pathway against cognitive deficit in a STZ-induced rat model of sporadic AD by attenuating inflammation.
Project description:Evidence demonstrates that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). Precursor-BDNF (proBDNF) and mature BDNF (mBDNF) have opposing biological effects in neuroplasticity, and the tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA)/plasmin system is crucial in the cleavage processing of proBDNF to mBDNF. However, very little is known about the role of the tPA-BDNF pathway in MDD. We examined serum protein concentrations in the tPA-BDNF pathway, including tPA, BDNF, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), proBDNF and p75NTR, obtained from 35 drug-free depressed patients before and after 8 weeks of escitalopram (mean 12.5?mg per day) or duloxetine (mean 64?mg per day) treatment and 35 healthy controls using sandwich ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) methods. Serum tPA and BDNF and the ratio of BDNF/proBDNF were significantly lower in the MDD patients than in controls, whereas TrkB, proBDNF and its receptor p75NTR were higher. After 8 weeks of treatment, tPA, BDNF and proBDNF and the BDNF/proBDNF ratio were reversed, but p75NTR was higher than baseline, and TrkB was not significantly changed. tPA, BDNF, TrkB, proBDNF and p75NTR all yielded fairly good or excellent diagnostic performance (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC)?>0.8 or 0.9). Combination of these five proteins demonstrated much better diagnostic effectiveness (AUC: 0.977) and adequate sensitivity and specificity of 88.1% and 92.7%, respectively. Our results suggest that the tPA-BDNF lysis pathway may be implicated in the pathogenesis of MDD and the mechanisms underlying antidepressant therapeutic action. The combination of tPA, BDNF, TrkB, proBDNF and p75NTR may provide a diagnostic biomarker panel for MDD.
Project description:The neurotrophin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), is essential for synaptic function, plasticity and neuronal survival. At the axon terminal, when BDNF binds to its receptor, tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB), the signal is propagated along the axon to the cell body, via retrograde transport, regulating gene expression and neuronal function. Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by early impairments in synaptic function that may result in part from neurotrophin signaling deficits. Growing evidence suggests that soluble ?-amyloid (A?) assemblies cause synaptic dysfunction by disrupting both neurotransmitter and neurotrophin signaling. Utilizing a novel microfluidic culture chamber, we demonstrate a BDNF retrograde signaling deficit in AD transgenic mouse neurons (Tg2576) that can be reversed by ?-secretase inhibitors. Using BDNF-GFP, we show that BDNF-mediated TrkB retrograde trafficking is impaired in Tg2576 axons. Furthermore, A? oligomers alone impair BDNF retrograde transport. Thus, A? reduces BDNF signaling by impairing axonal transport and this may underlie the synaptic dysfunction observed in AD.
Project description:Recent evidence implicates epigenetic mechanisms in drug-associated memory processes. However, a possible role for one major epigenetic mechanism, nucleosome remodelling, in drug-associated memories remains largely unexplored. Here we examine mice with genetic manipulations targeting a neuron-specific nucleosome remodelling complex subunit, BAF53b. These mice display deficits in cocaine-associated memory that are more severe in BAF53b transgenic mice compared with BAF53b heterozygous mice. Similar to the memory deficits, theta-induced long-term potentiation (theta-LTP) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is significantly impaired in slices taken from BAF53b transgenic mice but not heterozygous mice. Further experiments indicate that theta-LTP in the NAc is dependent on TrkB receptor activation, and that BDNF rescues theta-LTP and cocaine-associated memory deficits in BAF53b transgenic mice. Together, these results suggest a role for BAF53b in NAc neuronal function required for cocaine-associated memories, and also that BDNF/TrkB activation in the NAc may overcome memory and plasticity deficits linked to BAF53b mutations.
Project description:Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) may influence brain reserve, the ability of the brain to tolerate pathological changes without significant decline in function. Here, we explore whether a specifically vulnerable population of human neurons shows a compensatory response to the neuropathological changes of Alzheimer disease (AD) and whether that response depends on an upregulation of the BDNF pathway. We observed increased neuronal TrkB expression associated with early-stage AD pathology (Braak and Braak stages I-II) in hippocampal CA1 region samples from cognitively intact Framingham Heart Study subjects (n = 5) when compared with cognitively intact individuals with no neurofibrillary tangles (n = 4). Because BDNF/TrkB signaling affects memory formation and retention through modification of the actin cytoskeleton, we examined the expression of actin capping protein ?2 (Capzb2), a marker of actin cytoskeleton reorganization. Capzb2 expression was also significantly increased in CA1 hippocampal neurons of cognitively intact subjects with early-stage AD pathology. Our data suggest that increased expression of TrkB and Capzb2 accompanies adequate brain reserve in the initial stages of AD pathology. In subsequent stages of AD, the higher levels of TrkB and Capzb2 expression achieved may not be sufficient to prevent cognitive decline.
Project description:Manganese (Mn) overexposure produces long-term cognitive deficits and reduces brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus. However, it remains elusive whether Mn-dependent enhanced alpha-synuclein (?-Syn) expression, suggesting a multifaceted mode of neuronal toxicities, accounts for interference with BDNF/TrkB signaling. In this study, we used C57BL/6J WT and ?-Syn knockout (KO) mice to establish a model of manganism and found that Mn-induced impairments in spatial memory and synaptic plasticity were related to the ?-Syn protein. In addition, consistent with the long-term potentiation (LTP) impairments that were observed, ?-Syn KO relieved Mn-induced degradation of PSD95, phosphorylated CaMKII?, and downregulated SynGAP protein levels. We transfected HT22 cells with lentivirus (LV)-?-Syn shRNA, followed by BDNF and Mn stimulation. In vitro experiments indicated that ?-Syn selectively interacted with TrkB receptors and inhibited BDNF/TrkB signaling, leading to phosphorylation and downregulation of GluN2B. The binding of ?-Syn to TrkB and Fyn-mediated phosphorylation of GluN2B were negatively regulated by BDNF. Together, these findings indicate that Mn-dependent enhanced ?-Syn expression contributes to further exacerbate BDNF protein-level reduction and to inhibit TrkB/Akt/Fyn signaling, thereby disturbing Fyn-mediated phosphorylation of the NMDA receptor GluN2B subunit at tyrosine. In KO ?-Syn mice treated with Mn, spatial memory and LTP impairments were less pronounced than in WT mice. However, the same robust neuronal death was observed as a result of Mn-induced neurotoxicity.
Project description:BDNF/TrkB neurotrophic signaling regulates neuronal development, differentiation, and survival, and deficient BDNF/TrkB activity underlies neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, exactly how BDNF/TrkB participates in AD pathology remains unclear. Here, we show that deprivation of BDNF/TrkB increases inflammatory cytokines and activates the JAK2/STAT3 pathway, resulting in the upregulation of transcription factor C/EBP?. This, in turn, results in increased expression of ?-secretase, leading to both APP and Tau fragmentation by ?-secretase and neuronal loss, which can be blocked by expression of STAT3 Y705F, knockdown of C/EBP?, or the ?-secretase enzymatic-dead C189S mutant. Inhibition of this pathological cascade can also rescue impaired synaptic plasticity and cognitive dysfunctions. Importantly, reduction in BDNF/TrkB neurotrophic signaling is inversely coupled with an increase in JAK2/STAT3, C/EBP?, and ?-secretase escalation in human AD brains. Therefore, our findings provide a mechanistic link between BDNF/TrkB reduction, C/EBP? upregulation, ?-secretase activity, and A? and Tau alterations in murine brains.
Project description:Neurotrophins (NTs) are secretory proteins that bind to target receptors and influence many cellular functions, such as cell survival and cell death in neurons. The mammalian NT brain-derived neurotrophic factor (matBDNF) is the C-terminal mature form released by cleavage from the proBDNF precursor. The binding of matBDNF to the tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) activates different signaling cascades and leads to neuron survival and plasticity, while the interaction of proBDNF with the p75 NT receptor (p75NTR)/sortilin receptor complex has been highly involved in apoptosis. Many studies have demonstrated that prolonged seizures such as status epilepticus (SE) induce changes in the expression of NT, pro-NT, and their receptors. We have previously described that the blockage of both matBDNF and proBDNF signaling reduces neuronal death after SE in vivo (Unsain et al., 2008). We used an in vitro model as well as an in vivo model of SE to determine the specific role of TrkB and proBDNF signaling during neuronal cell death. We found that the matBDNF sequestering molecule TrkB-Fc induced an increase in neuronal death in both models of SE, and it also prevented a decrease in TrkB levels. Moreover, SE triggered the interaction between proBDNF and p75NTR, which was not altered by sequestering matBDNF. The intra-hippocampal administration of TrkB-Fc, combined with an antibody against proBDNF, prevented neuronal degeneration. In addition, we demonstrated that proBDNF binding to p75NTR exacerbates neuronal death when matBDNF signaling is impaired through TrkB. Our results indicated that both the mature and the precursor forms of BDNF may have opposite effects depending on the scenario in which they function and the signaling pathways they activate.
Project description:p75NTR, a member of TNF receptor family, is the low affinity receptor common to several mature neurotrophins and the high affinity receptor for pro-neurotrophins. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a member of neurotrophin family has been described to play an important role in development and progression of several cancers, through its binding to a high affinity tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) and/or p75NTR. However, the functions of these two receptors in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) have never been investigated. An overexpression of p75NTR, pro-BDNF, and to a lesser extent for TrkB and sortilin, was detected by immunohistochemistry in a cohort of 83 clear cell RCC tumors. p75NTR, mainly expressed in tumor tissues, was significantly associated with higher Fuhrman grade in multivariate analysis. In two derived-RCC lines, 786-O and ACHN cells, we demonstrated that pro-BDNF induced cell survival and migration, through p75NTR as provided by p75NTR RNA silencing or blocking anti-p75NTR antibody. This mechanism is independent of TrkB activation as demonstrated by k252a, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor for Trk neurotrophin receptors. Taken together, these data highlight for the first time an important role for p75NTR in renal cancer and indicate a putative novel target therapy in RCC.
Project description:The signaling of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be impaired in Alzheimer's disease (AD), which may compromise the function of BDNF upon neuronal activity and survival. Accordingly, decreased levels of BDNF and its tropomyosin-receptor kinase B-full-length (TrkB-FL) have been detected in human brain samples of AD patients. We have previously found that neuronal exposure to amyloid-? (A?) peptide, a hallmark of AD, leads to calpain overactivation and subsequent TrkB-FL cleavage leading to decreased levels of TrkB-FL and the generation of two new fragments: a membrane-bound truncated receptor (TrkB-T') and an intracellular fragment (TrkB-ICD). Importantly, we identified this TrkB-FL cleavage and TrkB-ICD presence in human brain samples, which indicates that this molecular mechanism contributes to the loss of BDNF signaling in humans. The exact role of this TrkB-ICD fragment is, however, unknown. Here, we used a human neuroglioma cell line and rat cortical primary neuronal cultures to track TrkB-ICD intracellularly. Our data show that TrkB-ICD is a relatively stable fragment that accumulates in the nucleus over time, through a phosphorylation-dependent process. We also found that TrkB-ICD has tyrosine kinase activity, inducing the phosphorylation of nuclear and axonal proteins. These findings suggest that TrkB-ICD may lead to a dysregulation of the activity of several proteins, including proteins in the nucleus, to where TrkB-ICD migrates. Since TrkB-ICD is formed by A? peptide-induced cleavage of TrkB-FL, the present data highlights a new mechanism that may have a role in AD pathophysiology.