Amyloid β (Aβ) and tau protein are both implicated in memory impairment, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and early Alzheimer's disease (AD), but whether and how they interact is unknown. Consequently, we asked whether tau protein is required for the robust phenomenon of Aβ-induced impairment of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a widely accepted cellular model of memory. We used wild-type mice and mice with a genetic knock-out of tau protein and recorded field potentials in an acute slice preparation. We demonstrate that the absence of tau protein prevents Aβ-induced impairment of LTP. Moreover, we show that Aβ increases tau phosphorylation and that a specific inhibitor of the tau kinase glycogen synthase kinase 3 blocks the increased tau phosphorylation induced by Aβ and prevents Aβ-induced impairment of LTP in wild-type mice. Together, these findings show that tau protein is required for Aβ to impair synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and suggest that the Aβ-induced impairment of LTP is mediated by tau phosphorylation. We conclude that preventing the interaction between Aβ and tau could be a promising strategy for treating cognitive impairment in MCI and early AD.
"Overexpression of disease-linked tau mutants induces neuronal cell death and behavioral abnormalities in mice (Ikeda et al., 2005; Lewis et al., 2000; Tanemura et al., 2001; Yoshiyama et al., 2007). While amyloid-b (Ab) is regarded as the major component driving a cascade of pathogenic events leading to AD (Hardy and Selkoe, 2002), tau is found to be required for Ab-induced postsynaptic dysfunction and behavioral defects (Ittner et al., 2010; Roberson et al., 2007; Shipton et al., 2011). Tau hyperphosphorylation and aggregation has widely been shown to interfere with normal tau function, thus leading to neurodegeneration (Ballatore et al., 2007). "
"Second, genetic deficiency of tau in an AD mouse model improved cognitive function and reduced excitotoxic injury (Roberson et al., 2007; Ittner et al., 2010). Third, Shipton and colleagues recently showed that deficiency of tau protected against Aβ-induced impairment of long-term potentiation in hippocampal slices of wild type mice (Shipton et al., 2011). Fourth, tau deletion has been shown to reduce Aβ-induced defects in axonal transport (Vossel et al., 2010). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuroinflammation is one of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related tauopathies. Activated microglia spatially coexist with microtubule-associated protein tau (Mapt or tau)-burdened neurons in the brains of human AD and non-AD tauopathies. Numerous studies have suggested that neuroinflammation precedes tau pathology and that induction or blockage of neuroinflammation via lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or anti-inflammatory compounds (such as FK506) accelerate or block tau pathology, respectively in several animal models of tauopathy. We have previously demonstrated that microglia-mediated neuroinflammation via deficiency of the microglia-specific chemokine (fractalkine) receptor, CX3CR1, promotes tau pathology and neurodegeneration in a mouse model of LPS-induced systemic inflammation. Here, we demonstrate that tau mediates the neurotoxic effects of LPS in Cx3cr1-/- mice. First, Mapt+/+ neurons displayed elevated levels of Annexin V (A5) and TUNEL (markers of neurodegeneration) when co-cultured with LPS-treated Cx3cr1-/-microglia, which is rescued in Mapt-/- neurons. Second, a neuronal population positive for phospho-S199 (AT8) tau in the dentate gyrus is also positive for activated or cleaved caspase (CC3) in the LPS-treated Cx3cr1-/- mice. Third, genetic deficiency for tau in Cx3cr1-/- mice resulted in reduced microglial activation, altered expression of inflammatory genes and a significant reduction in the number of neurons positive for CC3 compared to Cx3cr1-/- mice. Finally, Cx3cr1-/- mice exposed to LPS displayed a lack of inhibition in an open field exploratory behavioral test, which is rescued by tau deficiency. Taken together, our results suggest that pathological alterations in tau mediate inflammation-induced neurotoxicity and that deficiency of Mapt is neuroprotective. Thus, therapeutic approaches towards either reducing tau levels or blocking neuroinflammatory pathways may serve as a potential strategy in treating tauopathies.
Frontiers in Neuroscience 06/2015; 9:196. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00196 · 3.66 Impact Factor
"Magdesian and collaborators  reported that Aβ binds to Wnt receptor Frizzled inhibiting the Wnt canonical signaling pathway and therefore permitting GSK-3β activity. In corroboration with other studies 
 our results suggest that Aβ is associated with tau-increased phosphorylation by GSK-3β, reinforcing the therapeutic potential of GSK-3β inhibitors . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder with no effective treatment and commonly diagnosed only on late stages. Amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation and exacerbated tau phosphorylation are molecular hallmarks of AD implicated in cognitive deficits and synaptic and neuronal loss. The Aβ and tau connection is beginning to be elucidated and attributed to interaction with different components of common signaling pathways. Recent evidences suggest that non-fibrillary Aβ forms bind to membrane receptors and modulate GSK-3β activity, which in turn phosphorylates the microtubule-associated tau protein leading to axonal disruption and toxic accumulation. Available AD animal models, ranging from rodent to invertebrates, significantly contributed to our current knowledge, but complementary platforms for mechanistic and candidate drug screenings remain critical for the identification of early stage biomarkers and potential disease-modifying therapies. Here we show that Aβ1-42 injection in the hindbrain ventricle of 24 hpf zebrafish embryos results in specific cognitive deficits and increased tau phosphorylation in GSK-3β target residues at 5dpf larvae. These effects are reversed by lithium incubation and not accompanied by apoptotic markers. We believe this may represent a straightforward platform useful to identification of cellular and molecular mechanisms of early stage AD-like symptoms and the effects of neuroactive molecules in pharmacological screenings.
PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e105862. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0105862 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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