First transgenic rat model developing progressive cortical neurofibrillary tangles
ABSTRACT Neurofibrillary degeneration induced by misfolded protein tau is considered to be one of the key pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the present study, we have introduced a novel transgenic rat model expressing a human truncated tau that encompasses 3 microtubule binding domains (3R) and a proline-rich region (3R tau151-391). The transgenic rats developed progressive age-dependent neurofibrillary degeneration in the cortical brain areas. Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) satisfied several key histological criteria used to identify neurofibrillary degeneration in human Alzheimer's disease including argyrophilia, Congo red birefringence, and Thioflavin S reactivity. Neurofibrillary tangles were also identified with antibodies used to detect pathologic tau in the human brain, including DC11, recognizing an abnormal tau conformation and antibodies that are specific for hyperphosphorylated forms of tau protein. Moreover, neurofibrillary degeneration was characterized by extensive formation of sarkosyl insoluble tau protein complexes consisting of rat endogenous and truncated tau species. Interestingly, the transgenic rats did not show neuronal loss either in the cortex or in the hippocampus. We suggest that novel transgenic rat model for human tauopathy represents a valuable tool in preclinical drug discovery targeting neurofibrillary degeneration of Alzheimer's type.
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ABSTRACT: Synaptic failure and neurofibrillary degeneration are two major neuropathological substrates of cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Only a few studies have demonstrated a direct relationship between these two AD hallmarks. To investigate tau mediated synaptic injury we used rat model of tauopathy that develops extensive neurofibrillary pathology in the cortex. Using fractionation of cortical synapses, we identified an increase in endogenous rat tau isoforms in presynaptic compartment, and their mis-sorting to the postsynaptic density (PSD). Truncated transgenic tau was distributed in both compartments exhibiting specific phospho-pattern that was characteristic for each synaptic compartment. In the presynaptic compartment, truncated tau was associated with impairment of dynamic stability of microtubules which could be responsible for reduction of synaptic vesicles. In the PSD, truncated tau lowered the levels of neurofilaments. Truncated tau also significantly decreased the synaptic levels of Aβ40 but not Aβ42. These data show that truncated tau differentially deregulates synaptic proteome in pre-and postsynaptic compartments. Importantly, we show that alteration of Aβ can arise downstream of truncated tau pathology.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 02/2015; 9(24). DOI:10.3389/fncel.2015.00024 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tau protein is a member of microtubule-associated protein family. Under pathological conditions, tau undergoes multiple modifications that lead to the formation of insoluble deposits in neurons, resulting in neuronal dysfunction in several neurodegenerative disorders collectively called tauopathies, with Alzheimer's disease being the most frequent example. This typical cytosolic protein has been shown to translocate into the nucleus and participate in DNA protection upon stress conditions. In our study, we demonstrate that truncated Tau151-391/4R changes its usual behavior and gains constitutive access into the nucleus of both primary rat neurons and human neuroblastoma cells. Our results show that partial/dysregulated nuclear localization of tau results from the removal of the N-terminal (1-150) residues of the protein. Data obtained by cell fractionation data were supported by confocal microscopy analysis of GFP-fused tau proteins. Furthermore, neither addition of the fusion protein, nor increased tau phosphorylation had any effect on the intracellular distribution of truncated tau. Our data further suggest that differential tau phospho-status between cytosolic and nuclear fractions is rather a consequence than a cause of truncated tau nuclear localization. Finally, truncated tau in the nucleus is engaged in interactions with subnuclear structure(s), since it exhibits reduced mobility. We conclude that N-terminal truncation of tau proteins leads to their nonphysiological subcellular distribution as a result of modified tau conformation.Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 01/2015; 43(3):915. DOI:10.3233/JAD-140996 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder in older adults, affecting over 50% of those over age 85. Aging is the most important risk factor for the development of LOAD. Aging is associated with the decrease in the ability of cells to cope with cellular stress, especially protein aggregation. Here we describe how the process of aging affects pathways that control the processing and degradation of abnormal proteins including amyloid-β (Aβ). Genetic association studies in LOAD have successfully identified a large number of genetic variants involved in the development of the disease. However, there is a gap in understanding the interconnections between these pathomolecular events that prevent us from discovering therapeutic targets. We propose novel, pertinent links to elucidate how the biology of aging affects the sequence of events in the development of LOAD. Furthermore we analyze and synthesize the molecular-pathologic-clinical correlations of the aging process, involving the HSF1 and FOXO family pathways, Aβ metabolic pathway, and the different clinical stages of LOAD. Our new model postulates that the aging process would precede Aβ accumulation, and attenuation of HSF1 is an "upstream" event in the cascade that results in excess Aβ and synaptic dysfunction, which may lead to cognitive impairment and/or trigger "downstream" neurodegeneration and synaptic loss. Specific host factors, such as the activity of FOXO family pathways, would mediate the response to Aβ toxicity and the pace of progression toward the clinical manifestations of AD.Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 12/2013; 40(1). DOI:10.3233/JAD-131544 · 3.61 Impact Factor