A transgenic mouse bearing mutant transgenes linked to familial forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) for the amyloid precursor protein and presenilin-1 (TASTPM) showed Abeta plaque deposition and age-related histological changes in associated brain pathology. The Abeta present was of multiple forms, including species with a C-terminus at position 40 or 42, as well as an N-terminus at position 1 or truncated in a pyro-3-glutamate form. Endogenous rodent Abeta was also present in the deposits. Laser capture microdissection extracts showed that multimeric forms of Abeta were present in both plaque and tissue surrounding plaques. Associated with the Abeta deposits was evidence of an inflammatory response characterised by the presence of astrocytes. Also present in close association with the deposits was phosphorylated tau and cathepsin D immunolabelling. The incidence of astrocytes and of phosphorylated tau and cathepsin D load showed that both of these potential disease markers increased in parallel to the age of the mice and with Abeta deposition. Immunohistochemical labelling of neurons in the cortex and hippocampus of TASTPM mice suggested that the areas of Abeta deposition were associated with the loss of neurons. TASTPM mice, therefore, exhibit a number of the pathological characteristics of disease progression in AD and may provide a means for assessment of novel therapeutic agents directed towards modifying or halting disease progression.
"A nanocrystal formulation of dantrolene (Lyotropic Therapeutics, Inc., ) was administered intraperitoneally (IP, 10 mg/kg in sterile water) to AD-Tg and NonTg mice at two time points: (1) daily injections for 4 weeks starting at 2 months of age for the 3xTg-AD mice (corresponding to plaque-free stage); and (2) daily injections for 4 weeks starting at 5 months for the TASTPM (coinciding with moderate plaque formation and onset of cognitive deficits; , . Control mice were administered 0.9% saline daily. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative condition with no known cure. While current therapies target late-stage amyloid formation and cholinergic tone, to date, these strategies have proven ineffective at preventing disease progression. The reasons for this may be varied, and could reflect late intervention, or, that earlier pathogenic mechanisms have been overlooked and permitted to accelerate the disease process. One such example would include synaptic pathology, the disease component strongly associated with cognitive impairment. Dysregulated Ca2+ homeostasis may be one of the critical factors driving synaptic dysfunction. One of the earliest pathophysiological indicators in mutant presenilin (PS) AD mice is increased intracellular Ca2+ signaling, predominantly through the ER-localized inositol triphosphate (IP3) and ryanodine receptors (RyR). In particular, the RyR-mediated Ca2+ upregulation within synaptic compartments is associated with altered synaptic homeostasis and network depression at early (presymptomatic) AD stages. Here, we offer an alternative approach to AD therapeutics by stabilizing early pathogenic mechanisms associated with synaptic abnormalities. We targeted the RyR as a means to prevent disease progression, and sub-chronically treated AD mouse models (4-weeks) with a novel formulation of the RyR inhibitor, dantrolene. Using 2-photon Ca2+ imaging and patch clamp recordings, we demonstrate that dantrolene treatment fully normalizes ER Ca2+ signaling within somatic and dendritic compartments in early and later-stage AD mice in hippocampal slices. Additionally, the elevated RyR2 levels in AD mice are restored to control levels with dantrolene treatment, as are synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Aβ deposition within the cortex and hippocampus is also reduced in dantrolene-treated AD mice. In this study, we highlight the pivotal role of Ca2+ aberrations in AD, and propose a novel strategy to preserve synaptic function, and thereby cognitive function, in early AD patients.
PLoS ONE 12/2012; 7(12):e52056. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0052056 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"Microglial activation coincided with synaptic pathology, followed later by fibrillary tau pathology and astrogliosis . Although Howlett and colleagues found no up-regulation of microglial CD11b in TASTPM mice (double APP/PS1 transgenic), expression of Iba-1 was greatly increased  , suggesting a change in activation state. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Much evidence is available that inflammation contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Our review investigates how well current mouse models reflect this aspect of the pathogenesis.Transgenic models of AD have been available for several years and are the most extensively studied. Modulation of cytokine levels, activation of microglia and, to a lesser extent, activation of the complement system have been reported. Mouse models of PD and HD so far show less evidence for the involvement of inflammation.An increasing number of transgenic mouse strains is being created to model human neurodegenerative diseases. A perfect model should reflect all aspects of a disease. It is important to evaluate continuously the models for their match with the human disease and reevaluate them in light of new findings in human patients.Although none of the transgenic mouse models recapitulates all aspects of the human disorder they represent, all models have provided valuable information on basic molecular pathways. In particular, the mouse models of Alzheimer disease have also led to the development of new therapeutic strategies such as vaccination and modulation of microglial activity.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease 10/2010; 1802(10-1802):889-902. DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2009.10.013 · 4.88 Impact Factor
"The transgene leads to abundant deposition of the protein βamyloid in the brain from approximately 5 months of age. The plaques in this model are found to be distributed densely and diffusely (Howlett et al., 2008). The Wild-Type (WT) mice used as controls express the empty vector, but otherwise behave as the C57Bl6 background strain. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper is to investigate techniques that can identify and quantify cross-sectional differences and longitudinal changes in vivo from magnetic resonance images of murine models of brain disease. Two different approaches have been compared. The first approach is a segmentation-based approach: Each subject at each time point is automatically segmented into a number of anatomical structures using atlas-based segmentation. This allows cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of group differences on a structure-by-structure basis. The second approach is a deformation-based approach: Longitudinal changes are quantified by the registration of each subject's follow-up images to that subject's baseline image. In addition the baseline images can be registered to an atlas allowing voxel-wise analysis of cross-sectional differences between groups. Both approaches have been tested on two groups of mice: A transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease and a wild-type background strain, using serial imaging performed over the age range from 6-14 months. We show that both approaches are able to identify longitudinal and cross-sectional differences. However, atlas-based segmentation suffers from the inability to detect differences across populations and across time in regions which are much smaller than the anatomical regions. In contrast to this, the deformation-based approach can detect statistically significant differences in highly localized areas.
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