Reversible Pathologic and Cognitive Phenotypes in an Inducible Model of Alzheimer-Amyloidosis
ABSTRACT Transgenic mice that express mutant amyloid precursor protein (APPsi) using tet-Off vector systems provide an alternative model for assessing short- and long-term effects of Aβ-targeting therapies on phenotypes related to the deposition of Alzheimer-type amyloid. Here we use such a model, termed APPsi:tTA, to determine what phenotypes persist in mice with high amyloid burden after new production of APP/Aβ has been suppressed. We find that 12- to 13-month-old APPsi:tTA mice are impaired in cognitive tasks that assess short- and long-term memories. Acutely suppressing new APPsi/Aβ production produced highly significant improvements in performing short-term spatial memory tasks, which upon continued suppression translated to superior performance in more demanding tasks that assess long-term spatial memory and working memory. Deficits in episodic-like memory and cognitive flexibility, however, were more persistent. Arresting mutant APPsi production caused a rapid decline in the brain levels of soluble APP ectodomains, full-length APP, and APP C-terminal fragments. As expected, amyloid deposits persisted after new APP/Aβ production was inhibited, whereas, unexpectedly, we detected persistent pools of solubilizable, relatively mobile, Aβ42. Additionally, we observed persistent levels of Aβ-immunoreactive entities that were of a size consistent with SDS-resistant oligomeric assemblies. Thus, in this model with significant amyloid pathology, a rapid amelioration of cognitive deficits was observed despite persistent levels of oligomeric Aβ assemblies and low, but detectable solubilizable Aβ42 peptides. These findings implicate complex relationships between accumulating Aβ and activities of APP, soluble APP ectodomains, and/or APP C-terminal fragments in mediating cognitive deficits in this model of amyloidosis.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Many lines of evidence support that β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides play an important role in Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia. But despite much effort the molecular mechanisms of how Aβ contributes to AD remain unclear. While Aβ is generated from its precursor protein throughout life, the peptide is best known as the main component of amyloid plaques, the neuropathological hallmark of AD. Reduction in Aβ has been the major target of recent experimental therapies against AD. Unfortunately, human clinical trials targeting Aβ have not shown the hoped-for benefits. Thus, doubts have been growing about the role of Aβ as a therapeutic target. Here we review evidence supporting the involvement of Aβ in AD, highlight the importance of differentiating between various forms of Aβ, and suggest that a better understanding of Aβ's precise pathophysiological role in the disease is important for correctly targeting it for potential future therapy.Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics 11/2014; 12(1). DOI:10.1007/s13311-014-0313-y · 3.88 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Recent research in Alzheimer's disease (AD) field has been focused on the potential role of the amyloid-beta protein that is derived from the transmembrane amyloid precursor protein (APP) in directly mediating cognitive impairment in AD. Transgenic mouse models overexpressing APP develop robust AD-like amyloid pathology in the brain and show various levels of cognitive decline. In the present study, we examined the cognition of the BRI2-Abeta transgenic mouse model in which secreted extracellular Abeta1-40, Abeta1-42 or both Abeta1-40/Abeta1-42 peptides are generated from the BRI-Abeta fusion proteins encoded by the transgenes. BRI2-Abeta mice produce high levels of Abeta peptides and BRI2-Abeta1-42 mice develop amyloid pathology that is similar to the pathology observed in mutant human APP transgenic models. RESULTS: Using established behavioral tests that reveal deficits in APP transgenic models, BRI2-Abeta1-42 mice showed completely intact cognitive performance at ages both pre and post amyloid plaque formation. BRI2-Abeta mice producing Abeta1-40 or both peptides were also cognitively intact. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that high levels of Abeta1-40 or Abeta1-42, or both produced in the absence of APP overexpression do not reproduce memory deficits observed in APP transgenic mouse models. This outcome is supportive of recent data suggesting that APP processing derivatives or the overexpression of full length APP may contribute to cognitive decline in APP transgenic mouse models. Alternatively, at Abeta aggregates may impact cognition by a mechanism that is not fully recapitulated in these BRI2-Abeta mouse models.Molecular Neurodegeneration 05/2013; 8(1):15. DOI:10.1186/1750-1326-8-15 · 5.29 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular pathology may interact with neurodegeneration and thus aggravate cognitive decline. As the relationship between these two processes is poorly understood, research has been increasingly focused on understanding the link between cerebrovascular alterations and AD. This has at last been spurred by the engineering of transgenic animals, which display pathological features of AD and develop cerebral amyloid angiopathy to various degrees. Transgenic models are versatile for investigating the role of amyloid deposition and vascular dysfunction, and for evaluating novel therapeutic concepts. In addition, research has benefited from the development of novel imaging techniques, which are capable of characterizing vascular pathology in vivo. They provide vascular structural read-outs and have the ability to assess the functional consequences of vascular dysfunction as well as to visualize and monitor the molecular processes underlying these pathological alterations. This article focusses on recent in vivo small animal imaging studies addressing vascular aspects related to AD. With the technical advances of imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance, nuclear and microscopic imaging, molecular, functional and structural information related to vascular pathology can now be visualized in vivo in small rodents. Imaging vascular and parenchymal amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition as well as Aβ transport pathways have been shown to be useful to characterize their dynamics and to elucidate their role in the development of cerebral amyloid angiopathy and AD. Structural and functional imaging read-outs have been employed to describe the deleterious affects of Aβ on vessel morphology, hemodynamics and vascular integrity. More recent imaging studies have also addressed how inflammatory processes partake in the pathogenesis of the disease. Moreover, imaging can be pivotal in the search for novel therapies targeting the vasculature.Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 03/2014; 6:32. DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00032 · 2.84 Impact Factor