Amyloid beta-induced nerve growth factor dysmetabolism in Alzheimer disease.

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology (Impact Factor: 4.37). 09/2009; 68(8):857-69. DOI: 10.1097/NEN.0b013e3181aed9e6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We previously reported that the precursor form of nerve growth factor (pro-NGF) and not mature NGF is liberated in the CNS in an activity-dependent manner, and that its maturation and degradation occur in the extracellular space by the coordinated action of proteases.Here, we present evidence of diminished conversion of pro-NGF to its mature form and of greater NGF degradation in Alzheimer disease (AD) brain samples compared with controls. These alterations of the NGF metabolic pathway likely resulted in the increased pro-NGF levels. The pro-NGF was largely in a peroxynitrited form in the AD samples. Intrahippocampal injection of amyloid-beta oligomers provoked similar upregulation of pro-NGF in naive rats that was accompanied by evidence of microglial activation (CD40), increased levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase, and increased activity of the NGF-degrading enzyme matrix metalloproteinase 9. The elevated inducible nitric oxide synthase provoked the generation of biologically inactive, peroxynitrite-modified pro-NGF in amyloid-beta oligomer-injected rats. These parameters were corrected by minocycline treatment. Minocycline also diminished altered matrix metalloproteinase 9, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and microglial activation (CD40); improved cognitive behavior; and normalized pro-NGF levels in a transgenic mouse AD model. The effects of amyloid-beta amyloid CNS burden on NGF metabolism may explain the paradoxical upregulation of pro-NGF in AD accompanied by atrophy of forebrain cholinergic neurons.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: One of the early signs of Alzheimer's disease is the impairment in hippocampus-based episodic memory function, which is improved through the enhancement of cholinergic transmission. Several studies suggest that α7 nicotinic receptor (nAChR) activation represents a useful therapeutic strategy for the cognitive impairments associated with early Alzheimer's disease as the α7 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are expressed by basal forebrain cholinergic projection neurons as well as by their targets in the hippocampus. The current model for the cholinergic deficit in Alzheimer's disease posits that inappropriate accumulation of misfolded oligomeric aggregates of β-amyloid peptide leads to the dysfunction of the signaling mechanisms that support the cholinergic phenotype; this is manifested as an altered function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and the nerve-growth factor trophic support system that results in the loss of cholinergic markers and eventually cholinergic neurons from the basal forebrain cholinergic system. A view was confounded by the fact that α7 nAChRs and β-amyloid peptides have been shown to interact in vitro and in vivo, including human post-mortem AD brain. This review will begin with a brief overview of the basal forebrain cholinergic system, followed by a discussion of the current knowledge of the cholinergic deficit in Alzheimer's disease, then a summary of the cholinergic phenotype observed in transgenic Alzheimer's disease mouse models. We will also present our recent findings that support our hypothesis that the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor performs both the neurotrophic and neuroprotective roles in the maintenance of the cholinergic phenotype and discusses potential mechanisms and implications for Alzheimer's disease therapy.
    Current drug targets 01/2012; 13(5):613-22. DOI:10.2174/138945012800398973 · 3.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intracellular accumulation of beta-amyloid (Abeta) is one of the early features in the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Down's syndrome. This can be reproduced in cell and transgenic animal models of the AD-like amyloid pathology. In a transgenic rat model, our lab has previously shown that the intracellular accumulation of Abeta is sufficient to provoke cognitive impairments and biochemical alterations in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus in the absence of amyloid plaques. To investigate an early, pre-plaque inflammatory process in AD-like transgenic models and establish whether the neurotoxic effects of Abeta oligomers and proinflammatory responses can be arrested with minocycline. For these studies, we used naïve mice and transgenic animal models of the AD-like amyloid pathology and applied neurochemical, immunohistochemical and behavioral experimental approaches. In the early stages of the AD-like amyloid pathology, intracellular Abeta oligomers accumulate within neurons of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Coincidental with this, behavioral impairments occur prior to the appearance of amyloid plaques, together with an upregulation of MHC-II, i-NOS and COX-2, well-known proinflammatory markers. Treatment with minocycline corrected behavioral impairments, lowered inflammatory markers and levels of Abeta trimers. A pharmacological approach targeting the early neuroinflammatory effects of Abeta might be a promising strategy to prevent or delay the onset of AD.
    Neurodegenerative Diseases 02/2010; 7(1-3):96-8. DOI:10.1159/000285514 · 3.45 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We review the results of preclinical studies and clinical trials of gene therapy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The possible application of gene-therapy approaches is discussed from the point of view of the pathogenesis of this disease. The problems and future directions of the clinical use of gene therapy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease are discussed. KeywordsAlzheimer’s disease–neurodegeneration–gene therapy–viral vector–nerve growth factor
    Neurochemical Journal 09/2011; 5(3):159-168. DOI:10.1134/S181971241103010X · 0.19 Impact Factor