Vulnerability of dentate granule cells to disruption of arc expression in human amyloid precursor protein transgenic mice
ABSTRACT Activity-induced expression of Arc is necessary for maintenance of long-term potentiation and for memory consolidation. In transgenic (TG) mice with neuronal production of human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP) and hAPP-derived amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides, basal Arc expression was reduced primarily in granule cells of the dentate gyrus. After exploration of a novel environment, Arc expression in these neurons was unaltered in hAPP mice but increased markedly in nontransgenic controls. Other TG neuronal populations showed no or only minor deficits in Arc expression, indicating a special vulnerability of dentate granule cells. The phosphorylation states of NR2B and ERK1/2 were reduced in the dentate gyrus of hAPP mice, suggesting attenuated activity in NMDA-dependent signaling pathways that regulate synaptic plasticity as well as Arc expression. Arc reductions in hAPP mice correlated with reductions in the actin-binding protein alpha-actinin-2, which is located in dendritic spines and, like Arc, fulfills important functions in excitatory synaptic activity. Reductions in Arc and alpha-actinin-2 correlated tightly with reductions in Fos and calbindin, shown previously to reflect learning deficits in hAPP mice. None of these alterations correlated with the extent of plaque formation, suggesting a plaque-independent mechanism of hAPP/Abeta-induced neuronal deficits. The brain region-specific depletion of factors that participate in activity-dependent modification of synapses may critically contribute to cognitive deficits in hAPP mice and possibly in humans with Alzheimer's disease.
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ABSTRACT: Although episodic memory deficits are the most conspicuous cognitive change in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), patients also display alterations in emotional expression, including anxiety and impaired conditioned fear behaviours. The neural circuitry underlying emotional learning is known to involve the amygdala and hippocampus, although the precise impact of amyloid pathology on the interaction between these brain regions remains unclear. Recent evidence suggests that Tg2576 mice, which express a human amyloid precursor protein (APP) mutation associated with early-onset AD, demonstrate normal acquisition of conditioned freezing to auditory and contextual stimuli paired with footshock. However, examination of the expression of c-Fos revealed altered neural network activity in transgenic mice. In the present study we examined the effects of the APP mutation on the expression of c-Fos following the retrieval of emotional memories. To this end, stimulus-induced cellular activity was measured by analysing expression of the immediate-early gene c-Fos after the retrieval of auditory or contextual fear memories. To characterize regional interdependencies of c-Fos expression, structural equation modelling was used to compare patterns of neural network activity. Consistent with previous findings, Tg2576 mice displayed reduced freezing elicited by the auditory stimulus but not by the conditioning context. Interestingly, the analysis of c-Fos expression revealed that the APPswe mutation disrupted dentate gyrus and amygdala function, as well as altering the influence of these regions on the neural network dynamics activated during context memory retrieval. These results provide novel insight into the influence of excess amyloid production on neural network activity during memory retrieval.European Journal of Neuroscience 03/2014; 39(10). DOI:10.1111/ejn.12527 · 3.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cognitive decline is associated with gene expression changes in the brain, but the transcriptional mechanisms underlying memory impairments in cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), are largely unknown. Here, we aimed to elucidate relevant mechanisms responsible for transcriptional changes underlying early memory loss in AD by examining pathological, behavioral, and transcriptomic changes in control and mutant β-amyloid precursor protein (APPSw,Ind) transgenic mice during aging. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis using mouse microarrays revealed deregulation of a gene network related with neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity, and learning/memory in the hippocampus of APPSw,Ind mice after spatial memory training. Specifically, APPSw,Ind mice show changes on a cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB)-regulated transcriptional program dependent on the CREB-regulated transcription coactivator-1 (Crtc1). Interestingly, synaptic activity and spatial memory induces Crtc1 dephosphorylation (Ser151), nuclear translocation, and Crtc1-dependent transcription in the hippocampus, and these events are impaired in APPSw,Ind mice at early pathological and cognitive decline stages. CRTC1-dependent genes and CRTC1 levels are reduced in human hippocampus at intermediate Braak III/IV pathological stages. Importantly, adeno-associated viral-mediated Crtc1 overexpression in the hippocampus efficiently reverses Aβ-induced spatial learning and memory deficits by restoring a specific subset of Crtc1 target genes. Our results reveal a critical role of Crtc1-dependent transcription on spatial memory formation and provide the first evidence that targeting brain transcriptome reverses memory loss in AD.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 04/2014; 34(17):5776-87. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5288-13.2014 · 6.75 Impact Factor
Dataset: Lacoste et al., 2013