[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid-β deposition in amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, inflammation, neuronal loss, and cognitive deficits. Cannabinoids display neuromodulatory and neuroprotective effects and affect memory acquisition. Here, we studied the impact of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) deficiency on the development of AD pathology by breeding amyloid precursor protein (APP) Swedish mutant mice (APP23), an AD animal model, with CB1-deficient mice. In addition to the lower body weight of APP23/CB1(-/-) mice, most of these mice died at an age before typical AD-associated changes become apparent. The surviving mice showed a reduced amount of APP and its fragments suggesting a regulatory influence of CB1 on APP processing, which was confirmed by modulating CB1 expression in vitro. Reduced APP levels were accompanied by a reduced plaque load and less inflammation in APP23/CB1(-/-) mice. Nevertheless, compared to APP23 mice with an intact CB1, APP23/CB1(-/-) mice showed impaired learning and memory deficits. These data argue against a direct correlation of amyloid plaque load with cognitive abilities in this AD mouse model lacking CB1. Furthermore, the findings indicate that CB1 deficiency can worsen AD-related cognitive deficits and support a potential role of CB1 as a pharmacologic target.
Neurobiology of aging 07/2013; 34(11). DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.05.027 · 5.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: lzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by extracellular amyloid ß (Aß)-deposition, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and glial activation, accompanied by selective neuronal loss and cognitive deficits. Endocannabinoids display neuroprotective effects and affect neuronal plasticity and memory. Examination of brain samples from AD patients revealed a reduced number of CB1-expressing neuronal cells in brain areas affected by amyloid plaque deposition and microglial activation. Injection of cannabinoids in Aß-treated rats prevented glial activation, neuronal loss and cognitive deficits. These findings suggest an involvement of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the pathogenesis of AD.
Thus, CB1 as a pharmacological target may offer new possibilities for the treatment of AD patients. This background prompted us to study the involvement of the ECS in the development of AD by establishing a new mouse model by breeding APP23 mice, a well-described AD transgenic mouse model, with CB1-deficient mice. In addition to this in vivo model, we generated transgenic cell lines expressing the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and CB1, to reveal the molecular interplay between CB1 and APP.
Cannabinoid Conference 2011, University of Bonn, Germany; 09/2011
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This chapter contains sections titled: IntroductionThe CRH Family of Proteins and Molecular Signal TransductionFrom the Physiology to the Pathophysiology of CRHCRH and Neurodegenerative ConditionsProtective Activities of CRHLessons from the HeartOutlookReferences
Hormones in Neurodegeneration, Neuroprotection, and Neurogenesis, 02/2011: pages 237-249; , ISBN: 9783527326273
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have important roles as signaling molecules in the regulation of a variety of biological processes. On the other hand, chronic oxidative stress exerted by ROS is widely considered a causative factor in aging. Therefore, cells need to be able to adapt to a chronic oxidative challenge and do so to a certain cell-type-specific extent. Recently, we have shown in oxidative-stress-resistant cell lines, HT22(H2O2) and HT22(Glu), derived from the neuronal cell line HT22 by chronic exposure to sublethal concentrations of H(2)O(2) and glutamate, that, in addition to the known antioxidant defense mechanisms, e.g., activation of antioxidant enzymes or up-regulation of heat-shock proteins, oxidative stress resistance depends on the composition of cellular membranes. Here, we extend our previous investigations and report increased membrane fluidity in HT22(H2O2) and HT22(Glu) cells compared to the parental HT22(WT) cells. The increased membrane fluidity correlates with a redistribution of cholesterol, sphingomyelin, and membrane-associated proteins involved in APP processing between detergent-resistant and detergent-soluble membrane subdomains. The altered membrane properties were associated with drastic changes in the metabolism of the Alzheimer disease-associated amyloid precursor protein (APP), particularly toward enhanced production of soluble APP alpha, which is a known neuroprotective factor. Thus our -data provide a link between chronic oxidative stress, alterations in membrane fluidity and composition of membrane subdomains, stress adaptation, and APP processing.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 02/2010; 48(9):1236-41. DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2010.02.008 · 5.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic oxidative stress has been causally linked to several neurodegenerative disorders. As sensitivity for oxidative stress greatly differs between brain regions and neuronal cell types, specific cellular mechanisms of adaptation to chronic oxidative stress should exist. Our objective was to identify molecular mechanisms of adaptation of neuronal cells after applying chronic sublethal oxidative stress. We demonstrate that cells resistant to oxidative stress exhibit altered cholesterol and sphingomyelin metabolisms. Stress-resistant cells showed reduced levels of molecules involved in cholesterol trafficking and intracellular accumulation of cholesterol, cholesterol precursors, and metabolites. Moreover, stress-resistant cells exhibited reduced SMase activity. The altered lipid metabolism was associated with enhanced autophagy. Treatment of stress-resistant cells with neutral SMase reversed the stress-resistant phenotype, whereas it could be mimicked by treatment of neuronal cells with a specific inhibitor of neutral SMase. Analysis of hippocampal and cerebellar tissue of mouse brains revealed that the obtained cell culture data reflect the in vivo situation. Stress-resistant cells in vitro showed similar features as the less vulnerable cerebellum in mice, whereas stress-sensitive cells resembled the highly sensitive hippocampal area. These findings suggest an important role of the cell type-specific lipid profile for differential vulnerabilities of different brain areas toward chronic oxidative stress.
Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2009; 111(3):669-82. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2009.06360.x · 4.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CRH is a major central stress mediator, but also a potent neuroprotective effector. The mechanisms by which CRH mediates its neuroprotective actions are largely unknown. Here, we describe that the gap junction molecule connexin43 (Cx43) mediates neuroprotective effects of CRH toward experimentally induced oxidative stress. An enhanced gap junction communication has been reported to contribute to neuroprotection after neurotoxic insults. We show that CRH treatment up-regulates Cx43 expression and gap junctional communication in a CRH receptor-dependent manner in IMR32 neuroblastoma cells, primary astrocytes, and organotypic hippocampal slice cultures. MAPKs and protein kinase A-cAMP response element binding protein -coupled pathways are involved in the signaling cascade from CRH to enhanced Cx43 function. Inhibition of CRH-promoted gap junction communication by the gap junction inhibitor carbenoxolone could prevent neuroprotective actions of CRH in cell and tissue culture models suggesting that gap junction molecules are involved in the neuroprotective effects of CRH. The extent of oxidative stress-induced protein carbonylation and cell death inversely correlated with Cx43 protein levels as shown by Cx43 small interfering RNA knockdown experiments. Coculture studies of primary neurons and astrocytes revealed that astrocytic Cx43 likely contributes to the neuroprotective effects of CRH. To our knowledge this is the first description of Cx43 as a potential mediator of the neuroprotective actions of CRH.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) is the central modulator of the mammalian hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In addition, CRH affects other processes in the brain including learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, CRH has been shown to play a role in nerve cell survival under apoptotic conditions and to serve as an endogenous neuroprotectant in vitro. Employing mice overexpressing murine CRH in the CNS, we observed a differential response of CRH-overexpressing mice (CRH-COEhom-Nes) to acute excitotoxic stress induced by kainate compared with controls (CRH-COEcon-Nes). Interestingly, CRH-overexpression reduced the duration of epileptic seizures and prevented kainate-induced neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in the hippocampus. Our findings highlight a neuroprotective action of CRH in vivo. This neuroprotective effect was accompanied by increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in CRH-COEhom-Nes mice, suggesting a potential role for BDNF in mediating CRH-induced neuroprotective actions against acute excitotoxicity in vivo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: gamma-Secretase is a membrane-embedded multi-protein complex that catalyzes the final cut of the Alzheimer's disease-related amyloid precursor protein (APP) to amyloid-beta peptides of variable length (37-43 amino acids) via an unusual intramembrane cleavage. Recent findings propose that some commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have the ability to modulate specifically gamma-secretase activity without inhibiting the enzyme as a whole. These drugs may shift the processing of APP from the longer amyloid-beta 42 peptide towards shorter, less fibrillogenic and less toxic amyloid-beta species. We hypothesize that gamma-secretase activity, as an enzyme that is strictly associated with cellular membranes, is sensitive to alterations of the hydrophobic membrane environment. Here, we show that the gamma-secretase modulator and amyloid-beta 42-lowering drug sulindac sulfide alters the physical state of the membrane and strongly decreases fluidity of cellular membranes. Furthermore, sulindac sulfide changed the protein composition of membrane microdomains, the so-called lipid rafts. Most significantly, APP C-terminal fragments (CTFs) were redistributed from rafts towards non-raft membrane domains. This could be demonstrated also in cell-free assays, where in addition presenilin-1, the catalytic subunit of the gamma-secretase complex, was shifted out of lipid rafts. Together, these findings suggest that sulindac sulfide directly alters the membrane architecture and shifts the gamma-secretase-mediated cleavage of APP towards a hydrophobic environment where the enzyme-substrate complex is in a conformation for processing preferentially shorter amyloid-beta peptides.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A disintegrin and metalloprotease (ADAM) 10 is the main candidate enzyme for the alpha-secretase processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Neuron-specific ADAM10 overexpression proved beneficial in the APP[V717I] mutant Alzheimer mouse model [Postina R, Schroeder A, Dewachter I, Bohl J, Schmitt U, Kojro E, Prinzen C, Endres K, Hiemke C, Blessing M, Flamez P, Dequenne A, Godaux E, van Leuven F, Fahrenholz F (2004) A disintegrin-metalloproteinase prevents amyloid plaque formation and hippocampal defects in an Alzheimer disease mouse model. J Clin Invest 113:1456-1464]. Since Alzheimer patients have a high prevalence for epileptic seizures, we investigated the effects of ADAM10 modulation under conditions of experimentally induced epileptic seizures. In this context we also examined whether ADAM10 effects were influenced by APP levels. Therefore we compared severity of kainate-induced seizures, neurodegeneration and inflammation in double transgenic mice overexpressing functional ADAM10 or a dominant negative ADAM10 mutant in the APP[V717I] background with single transgenic ADAM10 modulated mice. Double transgenic dominant negative ADAM10dn/APP[V717I] mice suffered from stronger epileptic seizures, had a longer recovery period and showed more neurodegeneration and glial activation in the hippocampal region than double transgenic mice moderately overexpressing functional ADAM10 (ADAM10mo/APP[V717I]) and APP[V717I] mice with endogenous ADAM10 levels. This suggests that ADAM10 activity is necessary to provide neuroprotection against excitotoxicity in the APP[V717I] mouse model. Interestingly, increased expression of functional ADAM10 above the endogenous level did not correlate with a better protection against seizures and neurodegeneration. Furthermore, ADAM10 dominant negative mice without transgenic APP overexpression (ADAM10dn) were seizing for a shorter time and showed less neuronal cell death and neuroinflammation after kainate injection than wild-type mice, which shows beneficial effects of ADAM10 inhibition in context with neurodegeneration. In contrast, mice with a high ADAM10 overexpression showed more seizures and stronger neuronal damage and inflammation than wild-type mice and mice with moderate ADAM10 overexpression. Hence, additional cleavage products of ADAM10 may counterbalance the neuroprotective effect of alpha-secretase-cleaved APP in the defense against excitotoxicity. Our findings highlight the need of a careful modulation of ADAM10 activity for neuroprotection depending on substrate availability and on neurotoxic stress conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Strong evidence suggests a mechanistic link between cholesterol metabolism and the formation of amyloid-beta peptides, the principal constituents of senile plaques found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Here, we show that several fibrates and diaryl heterocycle cyclooxygenase inhibitors, among them the commonly used drugs fenofibrate and celecoxib, exhibit effects similar to those of cholesterol on cellular membranes and amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing. These drugs have the same effects on membrane rigidity as cholesterol, monitored here by an increase in fluorescence anisotropy. The effect of the drugs on cellular membranes was also reflected in the inhibitory action on the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase, which is known to be inhibited by excess ordering of membrane lipids. The drug-induced decrease of membrane fluidity correlated with an increased association of APP and its beta-site cleaving enzyme BACE1 with detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs), which represent membrane clusters of substantial rigidity. DRMs are hypothesized to serve as platforms for the amyloidogenic processing of APP. According to this hypothesis, both cholesterol and the examined compounds stimulated the beta-secretase cleavage of APP, resulting in a massive increase of secreted amyloid-beta peptides. The membrane-ordering potential of the drugs was observed in a cell-free assay, suggesting that the amyloid-beta promoting effect was analog to cholesterol due to primary effect on membrane rigidity. Because fenofibrate and celecoxib are widely used in humans as hypolipidemic drugs for prevention of atherosclerosis and as anti-inflammatory drugs against arthritis, possible side effects should be considered upon long-term clinical application.