Limited Alzheimer-type neurodegeneration in experimental obesity and Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Department of Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI 02903, USA.
Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD (Impact Factor: 4.15). 10/2008; 15(1):29-44.
Source: PubMed


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with brain insulin resistance and insulin deficiency, whereas Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with peripheral insulin resistance. This study assesses the degree to which T2DM causes AD-type neurodegeneration. In a C57BL/6 mouse model of obesity and T2DM, we characterized the histopathology, gene expression, and insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-receptor binding in temporal lobe. High fat diet (HFD) feeding for 16 weeks doubled mean body weight, caused T2DM, and marginally reduced mean brain weight. These effects were associated with significantly increased levels of tau, IGF-I receptor, insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), IRS-4, ubiquitin, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and 4-hydroxynonenol, and decreased expression of beta-actin. HFD feeding also caused brain insulin resistance manifested by reduced BMAX for insulin receptor binding, and modestly increased brain insulin gene expression. However, HFD-fed mouse brains did not exhibit AD histopathology, increases in amyloid-beta or phospho-tau, or impairments in IGF signaling or acetylcholine homeostasis. Obesity and T2DM cause brain atrophy with insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and cytoskeleton degradation, but the absence of many features that typify AD suggests that obesity and T2DM may contribute to, but are not sufficient to cause AD.

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    • "HF Mice 16 weeks ↔ Moroz et al., 2008 HF Mice 32 weeks ↓ To et al., 2011 HF Mice 18 weeks ↔ Ramos-Rodriguez et al., 2013 HF THY-Tau22 or WT Mice 5 months ↑ THY-Tau22, ↔ WT Leboucher et al., 2013 HF Rat 12 weeks ↔ McNeilly et al., 2012 HF Rat 8 weeks ↑ Zhang et al., 2010b HF + HC "
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal phosphorylation and aggregation of tau is a key hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is a multifactorial neurodegenerative disorder for which Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a risk factor. In animal models for DM, the phosphorylation and aggregation of tau is induced or exacerbated, however the underlying mechanism is unknown. In addition to the metabolic dysfunction, DM is characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation. This was reported to be associated with a neuroinflammatory response in the hypothalamus of DM animal models. Neuroinflammation is also implicated in the development and progression of AD. It is unknown whether DM also induces neuroinflammation in brain areas affected in AD, the cortex and hippocampus. Here we investigated whether neuroinflammation could be the mechanistic trigger to induce tau phosphorylation in the brain of DM animals. Two distinct diabetic animal models were used; rats on free-choice high-fat high-sugar (fcHFHS) diet that are insulin resistant and streptozotocin-treated rats that are insulin deficient. The streptozotocin-treated animals demonstrated increased tau phosphorylation in the brain as expected, whereas the fcHFHS diet fed animals did not. Remarkably, neither of the diabetic animal models showed reactive microglia or increased GFAP and COX-2 levels in the cortex or hippocampus. From this, we conclude: 1. DM does not induce neuroinflammation in brain regions affected in AD, and 2. Neuroinflammation is not a prerequisite for tau phosphorylation. Neuroinflammation is therefore not the mechanism that explains the close connection between DM and AD.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Frontiers in Neuroscience
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    • "As one approach leading to weight gain, an extremely high-fat diet (HFD, 60% calorie from fat) was previously shown to induce a remarkable brain insulin resistance as well as spatial memory impairment in a normal mouse or a transgenic mouse model of AD (Ho et al., 2004; Moroz et al., 2008; Leboucher et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis is negatively correlated with body mass, whereas both osteoporosis and weight loss occur at higher incidence during the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than the age-matched non-dementia individuals. Given that there is no evidence that being overweight is associated with AD-type cognitive dysfunction, we hypothesized that moder-ate weight gain might have a protective effect on the bone loss in AD without exacerbating cognitive dysfunction. In this study, feeding a high-fat diet (HFD, 45% calorie from fat) to female APP/PS1 transgenic mice, an AD animal model, induced weight gain. The bone mineral density, microarchitecture, and biomechanical properties of the femurs were then evaluated. The results showed that the middle-aged female APP/PS1 transgenic mice were susceptible to osteoporosis of the femoral bones and that weight gain significantly enhanced bone mass and mechanical properties. Notably, HFD was not detrimental to brain insulin signaling and AβPP processing, as well as to exploration ability and working, learning, and memory performance of the transgenic mice measured by T maze and Mor-ris water maze, compared with the mice fed a normal-fat diet (10% calorie from fat). In addition, the circulating levels of leptin but not estradiol were remarkably elevated in HFD-treated mice. These results suggest that a body weight gain induced by the HFD feeding regimen significantly improved bone mass in female APP/PS1 mice with no detriments to exploration ability and spatial memory, most likely via the action of elevated circulating leptin.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
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    • "Recent studies have shown differing results on whether DIO enhances tau phosphorylation in WT mice [4] [12] [16]. Both Moroz's study (60%-fat chow, fed for 4 months from 1 month of age) and Leboucher's study (59%-fat chow, fed for 5 months from 2 months of age) reported that DIO increased the level of tau but did not induce tau phosphorylation [12] [16]. On the other hand, Bhat's study (21%- fat chow, fed for 2 months from 4 months of age) and our present study (15.3%-fat chow, fed for 7 months from 3 months of age) showed that DIO increased tau phosphorylation in WT mice [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence indicates that obesity is an independent risk factor for developing Alzheimer disease (AD). Recent studies have shown that diet-induced obesity (DIO) enhances AD-related pathologies in transgenic mouse models of the disease. DIO increases amyloid β (Aβ) deposition in amyloidogenic transgenic mice and enhances tau phosphorylation in tau transgenic mice. However, it remains unclear whether DIO also enhances AD-related pathological processes in wild-type (WT) mice. In this study, we examined the effects of DIO on Aβ and tau pathology in WT mice using immunohistochemistry. In addition, we evaluated the protective effect of voluntary exercise on the DIO-induced pathological changes. DIO caused tau phosphorylation and astroglial activation in the hippocampus in WT mice. Interestingly, these changes were associated with enhanced astrocytic leptin receptor (LepR) expression and mild microgliosis, but not Aβ accumulation. Although phosphorylated tau staining was only observed in the hippocampus, astrogliosis and microgliosis were present in both the amygdala and hippocampus. However, no apparent neuronal loss was observed. Voluntary exercise prevented these DIO-induced pathological changes. Our results demonstrate for the first time that DIO causes tau phosphorylation and that astrocytic LepR might be involved in the pathological process in WT mouse hippocampus. Our findings also suggest that physical exercise is a promising strategy for the prevention of AD in patients with obesity.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Neuroscience Letters
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