Time-course and regional analyses of the physiopathological changes induced after cerebral injection of an amyloid β fragment in rats.

Molecular Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Dementia Laboratory, Inserm U710, Montpellier, France.
American Journal Of Pathology (Impact Factor: 4.6). 07/2011; 179(1):315-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.03.021
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative pathology characterized by the presence of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, accompanied by synaptic and neuronal loss. The major component of senile plaques is an amyloid β protein (Aβ) formed by pathological processing of the Aβ precursor protein. We assessed the time-course and regional effects of a single intracerebroventricular injection of aggregated Aβ fragment 25-35 (Aβ(25-35)) in rats. Using a combined biochemical, behavioral, and morphological approach, we analyzed the peptide effects after 1, 2, and 3 weeks in the hippocampus, cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus. The scrambled Aβ(25-35) peptide was used as negative control. The aggregated forms of Aβ peptides were first characterized using electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and Congo Red staining. Intracerebroventricular injection of Aβ(25-35) decreased body weight, induced short- and long-term memory impairments, increased endocrine stress, cerebral oxidative and cellular stress, neuroinflammation, and neuroprotective reactions, and modified endogenous amyloid processing, with specific time-course and regional responses. Moreover, Aβ(25-35), the presence of which was shown in the different brain structures and over 3 weeks, provoked a rapid glial activation, acetylcholine homeostasis perturbation, and hippocampal morphological alterations. In conclusion, the acute intracerebroventricular Aβ(25-35) injection induced substantial central modifications in rats, highly reminiscent of the human physiopathology, that could contribute to physiological and cognitive deficits observed in AD.

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