[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of modulating brain amyloid-β (Aβ) levels at different stages of amyloid pathology on synaptic function, inflammatory cell changes and hippocampal neurogenesis, i.e. processes perturbed in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Young (4- to 6-month-old) and older (15- to 18-month-old) APPSWE transgenic (Tg2576) mice were treated with the AD candidate drug (+)-phenserine for 16 consecutive days. We found significant reductions in insoluble Aβ1-42 levels in the cortices of both young and older transgenic mice, while significant reductions in soluble Aβ1-42 levels and insoluble Aβ1-40 levels were only found in animals aged 15-18 months. Autoradiography binding with the amyloid ligand Pittsburgh Compound B ((3)H-PIB) revealed a trend for reduced fibrillar Aβ deposition in the brains of older phenserine-treated Tg2576 mice. Phenserine treatment increased cortical synaptophysin levels in younger mice, while decreased interleukin-1β and increased monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels were detected in the cortices of older mice. The reduction in Aβ1-42 levels was associated with an increased number of bromodeoxyuridine-positive proliferating cells in the hippocampi of both young and older Tg2576 mice. To determine whether the increased cell proliferation was accompanied by increased neuronal production, the endogenous early neuronal marker doublecortin (DCX) was examined in the dentate gyrus (DG) using immunohistochemical detection. Although no changes in the total number of DCX(+)-expressing neurons were detected in the DG in Tg2576 mice at either age following (+)-phenserine treatment, dendritic arborization was increased in differentiating neurons in young Tg2576 mice. Collectively, these findings indicate that reducing Aβ1-42 levels in Tg2576 mice at an early pathological stage affects synaptic function by modulating the maturation and plasticity of newborn neurons in the brain. In contrast, lowering Aβ levels in Tg2576 mice when Aβ plaque pathology is prominent mainly alters the levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The accumulation of β-amyloid in the brain is an early event in Alzheimer's disease. This study presents the first patient with Alzheimer's disease who underwent positron emission tomography imaging with the amyloid tracer, Pittsburgh Compound B to visualize fibrillar β-amyloid in the brain. Here we relate the clinical progression, amyloid and functional brain positron emission tomography imaging with molecular neuropathological alterations at autopsy to gain new insight into the relationship between β-amyloid accumulation, inflammatory processes and the cholinergic neurotransmitter system in Alzheimer's disease brain. The patient underwent positron emission tomography studies with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose three times (at ages 53, 56 and 58 years) and twice with Pittsburgh Compound B (at ages 56 and 58 years), prior to death at 61 years of age. The patient showed a pronounced decline in cerebral glucose metabolism and cognition during disease progression, while Pittsburgh Compound B retention remained high and stable at follow-up. Neuropathological examination of the brain at autopsy confirmed the clinical diagnosis of pure Alzheimer's disease. A comprehensive neuropathological investigation was performed in nine brain regions to measure the regional distribution of β-amyloid, neurofibrillary tangles and the levels of binding of (3)H-nicotine and (125)I-α-bungarotoxin to neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes, (3)H-L-deprenyl to activated astrocytes and (3)H-PK11195 to microglia, as well as butyrylcholinesterase activity. Regional in vivo (11)C-Pittsburgh Compound B-positron emission tomography retention positively correlated with (3)H-Pittsburgh Compound B binding, total insoluble β-amyloid, and β-amyloid plaque distribution, but not with the number of neurofibrillary tangles measured at autopsy. There was a negative correlation between regional fibrillar β-amyloid and levels of (3)H-nicotine binding. In addition, a positive correlation was found between regional (11)C-Pittsburgh Compound B positron emission tomography retention and (3)H-Pittsburgh Compound B binding with the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactive cells, but not with (3)H-L-deprenyl and (3)H-PK-11195 binding. In summary, high (11)C-Pittsburgh Compound B positron emission tomography retention significantly correlates with both fibrillar β-amyloid and losses of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes at autopsy, suggesting a closer involvement of β-amyloid pathology with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes than with inflammatory processes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies implicate acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), raising the question of whether inhibitors of AChE also might act in a disease-modifying manner. Huprine X (HX), a reversible AChE inhibitor hybrid of tacrine and huperzine A, has shown to affect the amyloidogenic process in vitro. In this study, the aim was to investigate whether HX could affect the AD-related neuropathology in vivo in two mouse models.
Tg2576 (K670M/N671L) (APPswe) and 3xTg-AD (K670M/N671L, PS1M146V, tauP301L) mice were treated with HX (0.12 μmol/kg, i.p., 21 days) or saline at 6-7 months. Human β-amyloid (Aβ) was measured by ELISA, synaptophysin by Western blot and α7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) were analyzed by [(125)I]α-bungarotoxin autoradiography.
Treatment with HX reduced insoluble Aβ1-40 (about 40%) in the hippocampus of 3xTg-AD mice, while showing no effect in APPswe mice. Additionally, HX markedly increased cortical synaptophysin levels (about 140%) and decreased (about 30%) the levels of α7 nAChRs in the caudate nucleus of 3xTg-AD mice, while increasing (about 10%) hippocampal α7 nAChRs in APPswe mice.
The two mouse models react differently to HX treatment, possibly due to their differences in brain neuropathology. The modulation of Aβ and synaptophysin by HX in 3xTg-AD mice might be due to its suggested interaction with the peripheral anionic site on AChE, and/or via cholinergic mechanisms involving activation of cholinergic receptors. Our results provide further evidence that drugs targeting AChE affect some of the fundamental processes that contribute to neurodegeneration, but whether HX might act in a disease-modifying manner in AD patients remains to be proven.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Neurodegenerative Diseases