[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is clinically characterized by progressive memory loss, behavioral and learning dysfunction and cognitive deficits, such as alterations in social interactions. The major pathological features of AD are the formation of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles together with neuronal and vascular damage. The double transgenic mouse model of AD (2xTg-AD) with the APPswe/PS1dE9 mutations shows characteristics that are similar to those observed in AD patients, including social memory impairment, senile plaque formation and vascular deficits. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), when transplanted into the brain, produce positive effects by reducing amyloid-beta (Aβ) deposition in transgenic amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilins1 (PS1) mice. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), exhibits neuroprotective effects against the excitotoxicity implicated in the AD neurodegeneration. The present study investigates the effects of MSCs overexpressing VEGF in hippocampal neovascularization, cognitive dysfunction and senile plaques present in 2xTg-AD transgenic mice. MSC were transfected with vascular endothelial growth factor cloned in uP vector under control of modified CMV promoter (uP-VEGF) vector, by electroporation and expanded at the 14th passage. 2xTg-AD animals at 6, 9 and 12 months old were transplanted with MSC-VEGF or MSC. The animals were tested for behavioral tasks to access locomotion, novelty exploration, learning and memory, and their brains were analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) for vascularization and Aβ plaques. MSC-VEGF treatment favored the neovascularization and diminished senile plaques in hippocampal specific layers. Consequently, the treatment was able to provide behavioral benefits and reduce cognitive deficits by recovering the innate interest to novelty and counteracting memory deficits present in these AD transgenic animals. Therefore, this study has important therapeutic implications for the vascular damage in the neurodegeneration promoted by AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyloid diseases are caused by protein misfolding and aggregation. To date there are 27 known proteins causing amyloid disorders involving brain and peripheral protein deposition. The proteins involved in this mechanism do not share sequence homology, but the amyloid fibrils share biophysical properties and possibly a common pathogenic mechanism. Amyloid deposits are known to be involved in a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Creutzfelt-Jakob disease, as well as in non-neuropathic diseases, such as senile systemic amyloidosis and type II diabetes.
During the last decade the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster (Drosophila), have increasingly been used as a model for neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy. The advantages of using the Drosophila model are the well-defined genetic characteristics, the quantity, short life span, simplicity in genetic manipulation and the powerful binary UAS-Gal4 transgenic system. The UAS-Gal4 system allows for rapid generation of individual strains in which expression of a specific gene of interest can be directed to different tissues or cell types. The system allows the target gene to be activated in different cell- and tissue-types by altering the activator-expressing lines.
This thesis has been focused on modeling amyloid diseases in Drosophila. This has been performed by:
• Creating new model systems of senile systemic amyloidosis and familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy in Drosophila
• Developing a new staining protocol for detection of amyloid in Drosophila
• Initiate a compound screen of Alzheimer’s disease modeled in Drosophila
04/2010, Degree: Ph.D., Supervisor: Per Hammarström, Stefan Thor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been proposed that the deposition of the β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) in the brain parenchyma and brain blood vessels has deleterious effects. We tested the hypothesis that the levels of plasma Aβ are related to the outcome in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage.
In a multicenter study, we prospectively included patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage within the first 24 hours after onset. At admission, we measured plasma Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels using ELISA techniques. Also, we recorded age, sex, vascular risk factors, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, presence of intraventricular hemorrhage, localization, cause, and volume of the hematoma. We obtained the modified Rankin scale and defined a unfavorable outcome as modified Rankin scale >2 at 3 months. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed.
We studied 160 patients (mean age, 73.8±11.3 years; 59.4% of them were men). A favorable outcome was observed in 64 (40%) of the patients. In the bivariate analyses, unfavorable outcome was associated with high age, female sex, diabetes mellitus, presence of intraventricular hemorrhage, high blood glucose, high National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, high volume, and high plasma levels of Aβ42 and Aβ40. The multivariate analysis showed that increased age (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.035-1.21; P<0.0001), high admission National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (odds ratio, 1.29, 95% confidence interval, 1.17-1.42; P<0.0001), presence of diabetes mellitus (odds ratio, 4.15; 95% confidence interval, 1.21-14.1; P=0.02), and Aβ42 levels >9.7 pg/mL (odds ratio, 4.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.65-10.1; P=0.02) were independently associated with an increased likelihood of an unfavorable outcome.
High levels of plasma Aβ42 in patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage are associated with a poor functional prognosis.
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