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: Microtubule dynamics in neurons play critical roles in physiology, injury and disease and determine microtubule orientation, the cell biological correlate of neurite polarization. Several microtubule binding proteins, including end-binding protein 3 (EB3), specifically bind to the growing plus tip of microtubules. In the past, fluorescently tagged end-binding proteins have revealed microtubule dynamics in vitro and in non-mammalian model organisms. Here, we devise an imaging assay based on transgenic mice expressing yellow fluorescent protein-tagged EB3 to study microtubules in intact mammalian neurites. Our approach allows measurement of microtubule dynamics in vivo and ex vivo in peripheral nervous system and central nervous system neurites under physiological conditions and after exposure to microtubule-modifying drugs. We find an increase in dynamic microtubules after injury and in neurodegenerative disease states, before axons show morphological indications of degeneration or regrowth. Thus increased microtubule dynamics might serve as a general indicator of neurite remodelling in health and disease.Nature Communications 09/2014; 5:4827. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Neurodegenerative disease is one of the greatest health concerns today and with no effective treatment in sight, it is crucial that researchers find a safe and successful therapeutic. While neurofibrillary tangles are considered the primary tauopathy hallmark, more evidence continues to come to light to suggest that soluble, intermediate tau aggregates-tau oligomers-are the most toxic species in disease. These intermediate tau species may also be responsible for the spread of pathology, suggesting that oligomeric tau may be the best therapeutic target. Here we summarize results for the modulation of tau by molecular chaperones, small molecules and aggregation inhibitors, post-translational modifications, immunotherapy, other techniques, and future directions.ACS Chemical Neuroscience 07/2014; · 4.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A sensitive, accurate and rugged UHPLC–MS/MS method was developed and validated for the quantitation of Epothilone D (EpoD), a microtubule stabilizer in development for treatment of Alzeimer's disease, in rat plasma. The ester group in EpoD can be hydrolyzed by esterases in blood or plasma, which creates a stability concern for the bioanalysis of EpoD. Species differences in the stability of EpoD in plasma were observed. Carboxylesterases were identified as the likely esterases responsible for the hydrolysis of EpoD in plasma ex vivo, and the cause of the species different stability. Phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride, a carboxylesterase inhibitor, was used to stabilize EpoD in rat blood during sample collection, processing, and storage. A systematic method screening and optimization strategy was used to improve the assay sensitivity and minimize potential bioanalytical risks. The stabilized plasma samples were extracted by liquid–liquid extraction. Chromatographic separation was achieved on an Acquity UPLC BEH Phenyl column with a gradient elution. EpoD and its stable isotope labeled internal standards were detected by positive ion electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. The standard curve, which ranged from 0.100 to 100 ng/mL was fitted to a 1/x2 weighted linear regression model. The intra-assay precision was within ±3.6% CV and inter-assay precision was within ±4.2% CV. The assay accuracy was within ±8.3% of the nominal values. Assay recovery of EpoD was high (∼90%) and matrix effect was minimal (1.02–1.05). EpoD was stable in stabilized rat plasma for at least 30 h at room temperature, 180 days at −20 °C, and following three freeze-thaw cycles. The validated method was successfully applied to sample analysis in toxicology studies.Journal of Chromatography B 10/2014; 969:60-68. · 2.69 Impact Factor