Transient intraneuronal A beta rather than extracellular plaque pathology correlates with neuron loss in the frontal cortex of APP/PS1KI mice.
ABSTRACT The accumulation of beta-amyloid (A beta) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles consisting of hyperphosphorylated tau protein are pathological features of Alzheimer's disease (AD) commonly modeled in mice using known human familial mutations; however, the loss of neurons also found to occur in AD is rarely observed in such models. The mechanism of neuron degeneration remains unclear but is of great interest as it is very likely an important factor for the onset of adverse memory deficits occurring in individuals with AD. The role of A beta in the neuronal degeneration is a matter of controversial debates. In the present study we investigated the impact of extracellular plaque A beta versus intraneuronal A beta on neuronal cell death. The thalamus and the frontal cortex of the APP/PS1KI mouse model were chosen for stereological quantification representing regions with plaques only (thalamus) or plaques as well as intraneuronal A beta (frontal cortex). A loss of neurons was found in the frontal cortex at the age of 6 months coinciding with the decrease of intraneuronal immunoreactivity, suggesting that the neurons with early intraneuronal A beta accumulation were lost. Strikingly, no neuron loss was observed in the thalamus despite the development of abundant plaque pathology with levels comparable to the frontal cortex. This study suggests that plaques have no effect on neuron death whereas accumulation of intraneuronal A beta may be an early transient pathological event leading to neuron loss in AD.
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ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) affects almost 35 million people worldwide. One of the neuropathological features of AD is the presence of extracellular amyloid plaques, which are mainly composed of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. These peptides derive from the amyloidogenic proteolytic processing of the amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP), through the sequential action of β- and γ-secretases. However, AβPP can also be cleaved by a non-amyloidogenic pathway, involving an α-secretase, and in this case the Aβ formation is precluded. The production of Aβ and of other AβPP catabolites depends on the spatial and temporal co-localization of AβPP with α- or β-secretases and γ-secretase, which traffic through the secretory pathway in a highly regulated manner. Disturbances on AβPP and secretases intracellular trafficking and, consequently, in their localization may affect dynamic interactions between these proteins with consequences in the AD pathogenesis. In this article, we critically review the recent knowledge about the trafficking and co-localization AβPP and related secretases in the brain under physiological and AD conditions. A particular focus is given to data concerning the distribution of AβPP and secretases in different types of synapses relatively to other neuronal or glial localizations. Furthermore, we discuss some possible signals that govern the dynamic encounter of AβPP with each group of secretases, such as AβPP mutations, estrogen deprivation, chronic stress, metabolic impairment, and alterations in sleep pattern-associated with aging. The knowledge of key signals that are responsible for the shifting of AβPP processing away from α-secretases and toward the β-secretases might be useful to develop AD therapeutic strategies.Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 01/2015; DOI:10.3233/JAD-142730 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in individuals over 65 years of age and is characterized by accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau. Both Aβ and tau alter synaptic plasticity, leading to synapse loss, neural network dysfunction, and eventually neuron loss. However, the exact mechanism by which these proteins cause neurodegeneration is still not clear. A growing body of evidence suggests perturbations in the glutamatergic tripartite synapse, comprised of a presynaptic terminal, a postsynaptic spine, and an astrocytic process, may underlie the pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Glutamate is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and plays an important role in learning and memory, but alterations in glutamatergic signaling can lead to excitotoxicity. This review discusses the ways in which both beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau act alone and in concert to perturb synaptic functioning of the tripartite synapse, including alterations in glutamate release, astrocytic uptake, and receptor signaling. Particular emphasis is given to the role of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) as a possible convergence point for Aβ and tau toxicity.03/2015; 6(2):131-48. DOI:10.14336/AD.2014.0423
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ABSTRACT: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. This brain neuropathology is characterized by a progressive synaptic dysfunction and neuronal loss, which lead to decline in memory and other cognitive functions. Histopathologically, AD manifests via synaptic abnormalities, neuronal degeneration as well as the deposition of extracellular amyloid plaques and intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles. While the exact pathogenic contribution of these two AD hallmarks and their abundant constituents [aggregation-prone amyloid β (Aβ) peptide species and hyperphosphorylated tau protein, respectively] remain debated, a growing body of evidence suggests that their development may be paralleled or even preceded by the alterations/dysfunctions in the endolysosomal and the autophagic system. In AD-affected neurons, abnormalities in these cellular pathways are readily observed already at early stages of disease development, and even though many studies agree that defective lysosomal degradation may relate to or even underlie some of these deficits, specific upstream molecular defects are still deliberated. In this review we summarize various pathogenic events that may lead to these cellular abnormalities, in light of our current understanding of molecular mechanisms that govern AD progression. In addition, we also highlight the increasing evidence supporting mutual functional dependence of the endolysosomal trafficking and autophagy, in particular focusing on those molecules and processes which may be of significance to AD.Acta Neuropathologica 01/2015; 129(3). DOI:10.1007/s00401-014-1379-7 · 9.78 Impact Factor