2012: The year in dementia
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and James J Peters VA Medical Center, New York, NY 10029, USA. Electronic address: . The Lancet Neurology
(Impact Factor: 21.9).
01/2013; 12(1):4-6. DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(12)70284-3
Available from: Dale Schenk
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ABSTRACT: The loss of synapses is a strong histological correlate of the cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Amyloid β-peptide (Aβ), a cleavage product of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), exerts detrimental effects on synapses, a process thought to be causally related to the cognitive deficits in AD. Here, we used in vivo two-photon microscopy to characterize the dynamics of axonal boutons and dendritic spines in APP/Presenilin 1 (APPswe/PS1L166P)-green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice. Time-lapse imaging over 4 weeks revealed a pronounced, concerted instability of pre- and postsynaptic structures within the vicinity of amyloid plaques. Treatment with a novel sulfonamide-type γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI) attenuated the formation and growth of new plaques and, most importantly, led to a normalization of the enhanced dynamics of synaptic structures close to plaques. GSI treatment did neither affect spines and boutons distant from plaques in amyloid precursor protein/presenilin 1-GFP (APPPS1-GFP) nor those in GFP-control mice, suggesting no obvious neuropathological side effects of the drug.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 24 September 2013; doi:10.1038/mp.2013.122.
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ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex and slowly progressing dementing disorder that results in neuronal and synaptic loss, deposition in brain of aberrantly folded proteins, and impairment of spatial and episodic memory. Most studies of mouse models of AD have employed analyses of cognitive status and assessment of amyloid burden, gliosis, and molecular pathology during disease progression. Here, we sought to understand the behavioral, cellular, ultrastructural, and molecular changes that occur at a pathological stage equivalent to early stages of human AD. We studied the TgCRND8 mouse, a model of aggressive AD amyloidosis, at an early stage of plaque pathology (3 months of age) in comparison to their wild-type littermates and assessed changes in cognition, neuron and spine structure, and expression of synaptic glutamate receptor proteins. We found that, at this age, TgCRND8 mice display substantial plaque deposition in the neocortex and hippocampus and impairment on cued and contextual memory tasks. Of particular interest, we also observed a significant decrease in the number of neurons in the hippocampus. Furthermore, analysis of CA1 neurons revealed significant changes in apical and basal dendritic spine types, as well as altered expression of GluN1 and GluA2 receptors. This change in molecular architecture within the hippocampus may reflect a rising representation of inherently less stable thin spine populations, which can cause cognitive decline. These changes, taken together with toxic insults from amyloid-β protein, may underlie the observed neuronal loss. J. Comp. Neurol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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