First transgenic rat model developing progressive cortical neurofibrillary tangles

Institute of Neuroimmunology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
Neurobiology of aging (Impact Factor: 5.01). 12/2010; 33(7):1448-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2010.10.015
Source: PubMed


Neurofibrillary degeneration induced by misfolded protein tau is considered to be one of the key pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the present study, we have introduced a novel transgenic rat model expressing a human truncated tau that encompasses 3 microtubule binding domains (3R) and a proline-rich region (3R tau151-391). The transgenic rats developed progressive age-dependent neurofibrillary degeneration in the cortical brain areas. Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) satisfied several key histological criteria used to identify neurofibrillary degeneration in human Alzheimer's disease including argyrophilia, Congo red birefringence, and Thioflavin S reactivity. Neurofibrillary tangles were also identified with antibodies used to detect pathologic tau in the human brain, including DC11, recognizing an abnormal tau conformation and antibodies that are specific for hyperphosphorylated forms of tau protein. Moreover, neurofibrillary degeneration was characterized by extensive formation of sarkosyl insoluble tau protein complexes consisting of rat endogenous and truncated tau species. Interestingly, the transgenic rats did not show neuronal loss either in the cortex or in the hippocampus. We suggest that novel transgenic rat model for human tauopathy represents a valuable tool in preclinical drug discovery targeting neurofibrillary degeneration of Alzheimer's type.

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Available from: Norbert Zilka, Sep 18, 2015
    • "It is more likely that monomeric and/or oligomeric intermediates could play a more significant role at the onset of the diseases (Kovacech et al. 2009). Animal models show that transgenic expression of pathological form of human tau protein results in irreversible changes in brain and premature death of the experimental animals (Zilka et al. 2006; Filipcik et al. 2012). In PD, the accumulation of α-synuclein results in formation of Lewy bodies (Goedert et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Impairment of "protein quality control" in neurons is associated with etiopathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. The worn-out products of cell metabolism should be safely eliminated via the proteasome, autophago-lysosome and exocytosis. Insufficient activity of these degradation mechanisms within neurons leads to the accumulation of toxic protein oligomers, which represent a starting material for development of neurodegenerative proteinopathy. The spectrum of CNS linked proteinopathies is particularly broad and includes Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Lewy body dementia, Pick disease, Frontotemporal dementia, Huntington disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and many others. Although the primary events in etiopathogenesis of sporadic forms of these diseases are still unknown, it is clear that aging, in connection with decreased activity of ubiquitin proteasome system, is the most significant risk factor. In this review we discuss the pathogenic role and intracellular fate of the candidate molecules associated with onset and progression of AD and PD, the protein tau and α-synuclein in context with the function of ubiquitin proteasome system. We also discuss the possibility whether or not the strategies focused to re-establishment of neuroproteostasis via accelerated clearance of damaged proteins in proteasome could be a promising therapeutic approach for treatment of major neurodegenerative diseases.
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    • "Heterozygous transgenic male rats expressing human N-and Cterminally truncated tau encompassing three repeats (aa 151–391; line SHR24; Filipcik et al., 2012) and age matched wild type rats were used in this study. Rats were housed in cages with adequate supply of water, and 12 h day/light cycle. "
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    ABSTRACT: Synaptic failure and neurofibrillary degeneration are two major neuropathological substrates of cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Only a few studies have demonstrated a direct relationship between these two AD hallmarks. To investigate tau mediated synaptic injury we used rat model of tauopathy that develops extensive neurofibrillary pathology in the cortex. Using fractionation of cortical synapses, we identified an increase in endogenous rat tau isoforms in presynaptic compartment, and their mis-sorting to the postsynaptic density (PSD). Truncated transgenic tau was distributed in both compartments exhibiting specific phospho-pattern that was characteristic for each synaptic compartment. In the presynaptic compartment, truncated tau was associated with impairment of dynamic stability of microtubules which could be responsible for reduction of synaptic vesicles. In the PSD, truncated tau lowered the levels of neurofilaments. Truncated tau also significantly decreased the synaptic levels of Aβ40 but not Aβ42. These data show that truncated tau differentially deregulates synaptic proteome in pre-and postsynaptic compartments. Importantly, we show that alteration of Aβ can arise downstream of truncated tau pathology.
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    • "Furthermore, tau truncation is crucial in formation of neurofibrillary tangles which enables tau assembly into paired helical filaments that leads to AD pathology [40] [41] [42] [43]. Proof of this concept was provided by transgenic AD animal models expressing truncated tau protein (151-391, both 3R and 4R) in rat brain [41] [44]. Expression of truncated tau resulted in neurofibrillary degeneration as found in humans, including paired helical filament formation, increased oxidative stress [45], and neuroinflammation [46]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tau protein is a member of microtubule-associated protein family. Under pathological conditions, tau undergoes multiple modifications that lead to the formation of insoluble deposits in neurons, resulting in neuronal dysfunction in several neurodegenerative disorders collectively called tauopathies, with Alzheimer's disease being the most frequent example. This typical cytosolic protein has been shown to translocate into the nucleus and participate in DNA protection upon stress conditions. In our study, we demonstrate that truncated Tau151-391/4R changes its usual behavior and gains constitutive access into the nucleus of both primary rat neurons and human neuroblastoma cells. Our results show that partial/dysregulated nuclear localization of tau results from the removal of the N-terminal (1-150) residues of the protein. Data obtained by cell fractionation data were supported by confocal microscopy analysis of GFP-fused tau proteins. Furthermore, neither addition of the fusion protein, nor increased tau phosphorylation had any effect on the intracellular distribution of truncated tau. Our data further suggest that differential tau phospho-status between cytosolic and nuclear fractions is rather a consequence than a cause of truncated tau nuclear localization. Finally, truncated tau in the nucleus is engaged in interactions with subnuclear structure(s), since it exhibits reduced mobility. We conclude that N-terminal truncation of tau proteins leads to their nonphysiological subcellular distribution as a result of modified tau conformation.
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