Hyperdynamic Microtubules, Cognitive Deficits, and Pathology Are Improved in Tau Transgenic Mice with Low Doses of the Microtubule-Stabilizing Agent BMS-241027
ABSTRACT Tau is a microtubule (MT)-stabilizing protein that is altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other tauopathies. It is hypothesized that the hyperphosphorylated, conformationally altered, and multimeric forms of tau lead to a disruption of MT stability; however, direct evidence is lacking in vivo. In this study, an in vivo stable isotope-mass spectrometric technique was used to measure the turnover, or dynamicity, of MTs in brains of living animals. We demonstrated an age-dependent increase in MT dynamics in two different tau transgenic mouse models, 3xTg and rTg4510. MT hyperdynamicity was dependent on tau expression, since a reduction of transgene expression with doxycycline reversed the MT changes. Treatment of rTg4510 mice with the epothilone, BMS-241027, also restored MT dynamics to baseline levels. In addition, MT stabilization with BMS-241027 had beneficial effects on Morris water maze deficits, tau pathology, and neurodegeneration. Interestingly, pathological and functional benefits of BMS-241027 were observed at doses that only partially reversed MT hyperdynamicity. Together, these data suggest that tau-mediated loss of MT stability may contribute to disease progression and that very low doses of BMS-241027 may be useful in the treatment of AD and other tauopathies.
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ABSTRACT: Recent evidence underlines the crucial role of neuronal cytoskeleton in the pathophysiology of psychiatric diseases. In this line, the deletion of STOP/MAP6 (Stable Tubule Only Polypeptide), a microtubule-stabilizing protein, triggers various neurotransmission and behavioral defects, suggesting that STOP knockout (KO) mice could be a relevant experimental model for schizoaffective symptoms. To establish the predictive validity of such a mouse line, in which the brain serotonergic tone is dramatically imbalanced, the effects of a chronic fluoxetine treatment on the mood status of STOP KO mice were characterized. Moreover, we determined the impact, on mood, of a chronic treatment by epothilone D, a taxol-like microtubule-stabilizing compound that has previously been shown to improve the synaptic plasticity deficits of STOP KO mice. We demonstrated that chronic fluoxetine was either antidepressive and anxiolytic, or pro-depressive and anxiogenic, depending on the paradigm used to test treated mutant mice. Furthermore, control-treated STOP KO mice exhibited paradoxical behaviors, compared with their clear-cut basal mood status. Paradoxical fluoxetine effects and control-treated STOP KO behaviors could be because of their hyper-reactivity to acute and chronic stress. Interestingly, both epothilone D and fluoxetine chronic treatments improved the short-term memory of STOP KO mice. Such treatments did not affect the serotonin and norepinephrine transporter densities in cerebral areas of mice. Altogether, these data demonstrated that STOP KO mice could represent a useful model to study the relationship between cytoskeleton, mood, and stress, and to test innovative mood treatments, such as microtubule-stabilizing compounds.Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2012; DOI:10.1111/jnc.12027
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ABSTRACT: Progress in neurodegenerative disease research is hampered by the lack of biomarkers of neuronal dysfunction. We here identified a class of cerebrospinal fluid-based (CSF-based) kinetic biomarkers that reflect altered neuronal transport of protein cargo, a common feature of neurodegeneration. After a pulse administration of heavy water (2H2O), distinct, newly synthesized 2H-labeled neuronal proteins were transported to nerve terminals and secreted, and then appeared in CSF. In 3 mouse models of neurodegeneration, distinct 2H-cargo proteins displayed delayed appearance and disappearance kinetics in the CSF, suggestive of aberrant transport kinetics. Microtubule-modulating pharmacotherapy normalized CSF-based kinetics of affected 2H-cargo proteins and ameliorated neurodegenerative symptoms in mice. After 2H2O labeling, similar neuronal transport deficits were observed in CSF of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) compared with non-PD control subjects, which indicates that these biomarkers are translatable and relevant to human disease. Measurement of transport kinetics may provide a sensitive method to monitor progression of neurodegeneration and treatment effects.The Journal of clinical investigation 08/2012; 122(9):3159-69. DOI:10.1172/JCI64575
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ABSTRACT: The microtubule (MT) associated protein tau, which is highly expressed in the axons of neurons, is an endogenous MT-stabilizing agent that plays an important role in axonal transport. Loss of MT-stabilizing tau function, caused by misfolding, hyperphosphorylation, and sequestration of tau into insoluble aggregates, leads to axonal transport deficits with neuropathological consequences. Several in vitro and preclinical in vivo studies have shown that MT-stabilizing drugs can be utilized to compensate for the loss of tau function and to maintain/restore effective axonal transport. These findings indicate that MT-stabilizing compounds hold considerable promise for the treatment of Alzheimer disease and related tauopathies. The present article provides a synopsis of the key findings demonstrating the therapeutic potential of MT-stabilizing drugs in the context of neurodegenerative tauopathies, as well as an overview of the different classes of MT-stabilizing compounds.Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 09/2012; 55(21). DOI:10.1021/jm301079z