[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence from epidemiological studies suggest that type 2 diabetes is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the consequences of type 2 diabetes on AD pathologies, such as tau hyperphosphorylation, are not well understood. Here, we evaluated the impact of type 2 diabetes on tau phosphorylation in db/db diabetic mice aged 4 and 26 weeks. We found increased tau phosphorylation at the CP13 epitope correlating with a deregulation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and Protein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A) in 4-week-old db/db mice. 26-week-old db/db mice displayed tau hyperphosphorylation at multiple epitopes (CP13, AT8, PHF-1), but no obvious change in kinases or phosphatases, no cleavage of tau, and no deregulation of central insulin signalling pathways. In contrast to younger animals, 26-week-old db/db mice were hypothermic and restoration of normothermia rescued phosphorylation at most epitopes. Our results suggest that, at early stages of type 2 diabetes, changes in tau phosphorylation may be due to deregulation of JNK and PP2A, while at later stages hyperphosphorylation is mostly a consequence of hypothermia. These results provide a novel link between diabetes and tau pathology, and underlie the importance of recording body temperature to better understand the relationship between diabetes and AD.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Neurobiology of Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) include senile plaques of β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides (a cleavage product of the Amyloid Precursor Protein, or APP) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) of hyperphosphorylated Tau protein assembled in paired helical filaments (PHF). NFT pathology is important since it correlates with the degree of cognitive impairment in AD. Only a small proportion of AD is due to genetic variants, whereas the large majority of cases (~99%) is late onset and sporadic in origin. The cause of sporadic AD is likely to be multifactorial, with external factors interacting with biological or genetic susceptibilities to accelerate the manifestation of the disease. Insulin dysfunction, manifested by diabetes mellitus (DM) might be such factor, as there is extensive data from epidemiological studies suggesting that DM is associated with an increased relative risk for AD. Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) are known to affect multiple cognitive functions in patients. In this context, understanding the effects of diabetes on Tau pathogenesis is important since Tau pathology show a strong relationship to dementia in AD, and to memory loss in normal aging and mild cognitive impairment. Here, we reviewed preclinical studies that link insulin dysfunction to Tau protein pathogenesis, one of the major pathological hallmarks of AD. We found more than 30 studies reporting Tau phosphorylation in a mouse or rat model of insulin dysfunction. We also payed attention to potential sources of artifacts, such as hypothermia and anesthesia, that were demonstrated to results in Tau hyperphosphorylation and could major confounding experimental factors. We found that very few studies reported the temperature of the animals, and only a handful did not use anesthesia. Overall, most published studies showed that insulin dysfunction can promote Tau hyperphosphorylation and pathology, both directly and indirectly, through hypothermia.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC) is caused by heterogeneous pathologies leading to multiple antenatal joint contractures through fetal akinesia. Understanding the pathophysiology of this disorder is important for clinical care of the affected individuals and genetic counseling of the families. We thus aimed to establish the genetic basis of an AMC subtype that is associated with multiple dysmorphic features and intellectual disability (ID). We used haplotype analysis, next-generation sequencing, array comparative genomic hybridization, and chromosome breakpoint mapping to identify the pathogenic mutations in families and simplex cases. Suspected disease variants were verified by cosegregation analysis. We identified disease-causing mutations in the zinc-finger gene ZC4H2 in four families affected by X-linked AMC plus ID and one family affected by cerebral palsy. Several heterozygous females were also affected, but to a lesser degree. Furthermore, we found two ZC4H2 deletions and one rearrangement in two female and one male unrelated simplex cases, respectively. In mouse primary hippocampal neurons, transiently produced ZC4H2 localized to the postsynaptic compartment of excitatory synapses, and the altered protein influenced dendritic spine density. In zebrafish, antisense-morpholino-mediated zc4h2 knockdown caused abnormal swimming and impaired α-motoneuron development. All missense mutations identified herein failed to rescue the swimming defect of zebrafish morphants. We conclude that ZC4H2 point mutations, rearrangements, and small deletions cause a clinically variable broad-spectrum neurodevelopmental disorder of the central and peripheral nervous systems in both familial and simplex cases of both sexes. Our results highlight the importance of ZC4H2 for genetic testing of individuals presenting with ID plus muscle weakness and minor or major forms of AMC.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer disease (AD) include intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles composed of abnormally hyperphosphorylated τ protein. Insulin dysfunction might influence AD pathology, as population-based and cohort studies have detected higher AD incidence rates in diabetic patients. But how diabetes affects τ pathology is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the impact of insulin dysfunction on τ phosphorylation in a genetic model of spontaneous type 1 diabetes: the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse. Brains of young and adult female NOD mice were examined, but young NOD mice did not display τ hyperphosphorylation. τ phosphorylation at τ-1 and pS422 epitopes was slightly increased in nondiabetic adult NOD mice. At the onset of diabetes, τ was hyperphosphorylated at the τ-1, AT8, CP13, pS262, and pS422. A subpopulation of diabetic NOD mice became hypothermic, and τ hyperphosphorylation further extended to paired helical filament-1 and TG3 epitopes. Furthermore, elevated τ phosphorylation correlated with an inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity. Our data indicate that insulin dysfunction in NOD mice leads to AD-like τ hyperphosphorylation in the brain, with molecular mechanisms likely involving a deregulation of PP2A. This model may be a useful tool to address further mechanistic association between insulin dysfunction and AD pathology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the central nervous system, the inhibitory GABAB receptor is the archetype of heterodimeric G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). However, the regulation of GABAB dimerization, and more generally of GPCR oligomerization, remains largely unknown. We propose a novel mechanism for inhibition of GPCR activity through de-dimerization in pathological conditions. We show here that 14-3-3ζ, a GABAB1-binding protein, dissociates the GABAB heterodimer, resulting in the impairment of GABAB signalling in spinal neurons. In the dorsal spinal cord of neuropathic rats, 14-3-3ζ is overexpressed and weakens GABAB inhibition. Using anti-14-3-3ζ siRNA or competing peptides disrupts 14-3-3ζ/GABAB1 interaction and restores functional GABAB heterodimers in the dorsal horn. Importantly, both strategies greatly enhance the anti-nociceptive effect of intrathecal Baclofen in neuropathic rats. Taken together, our data provide the first example of endogenous regulation of a GPCR oligomeric state and demonstrate its functional impact on the pathophysiological process of neuropathic pain sensitization.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tauopathies represent a large class of neurological and movement disorders characterized by abnormal intracellular deposits of the microtubule-associated protein tau. It is now well established that mis-splicing of tau exon 10, causing an imbalance between three-repeat (3R) and four-repeat (4R) tau isoforms, can cause disease; however, the underlying mechanisms affecting tau splicing in neurons remain poorly understood. The small noncoding microRNAs (miRNAs), known for their critical role in posttranscriptional gene expression regulation, are increasingly acknowledged as important regulators of alternative splicing. Here, we identified a number of brain miRNAs, including miR-124, miR-9, miR-132 and miR-137, which regulate 4R:3R-tau ratios in neuronal cells. Analysis of miRNA expression profiles from sporadic progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) patients, a major 4R-tau tauopathy, showed that miR-132 is specifically down-regulated in disease. We demonstrate that miR-132 directly targets the neuronal splicing factor polypyrimidine tract-binding protein 2 (PTBP2), which protein levels were increased in PSP patients. miR-132 overexpression or PTBP2 knockdown similarly affected endogenous 4R:3R-tau ratios in neuronal cells. Finally, we provide evidence that miR-132 is inversely correlated with PTBP2 during post-natal brain development at the time when 4R-tau becomes expressed. Taken together, these results suggest that changes in the miR-132/PTBP2 pathway could contribute to the abnormal splicing of tau exon 10 in the brain, and sheds light into the potential role played by miRNAs in a subset of tauopathies.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Human Molecular Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic pain states are characterized by long-term sensitization of spinal cord neurons that relay nociceptive information to the brain. Among the mechanisms involved, up-regulation of Cav1.2-comprising L-type calcium channel (Cav1.2-LTC) in spinal dorsal horn have a crucial role in chronic neuropathic pain. Here, we address a mechanism of translational regulation of this calcium channel. Translational regulation by microRNAs is a key factor in the expression and function of eukaryotic genomes. Because perfect matching to target sequence is not required for inhibition, theoretically, microRNAs could regulate simultaneously multiple mRNAs. We show here that a single microRNA, miR-103, simultaneously regulates the expression of the three subunits forming Cav1.2-LTC in a novel integrative regulation. This regulation is bidirectional since knocking-down or over-expressing miR-103, respectively, up- or down-regulate the level of Cav1.2-LTC translation. Functionally, we show that miR-103 knockdown in naive rats results in hypersensitivity to pain. Moreover, we demonstrate that miR-103 is down-regulated in neuropathic animals and that miR-103 intrathecal applications successfully relieve pain, identifying miR-103 as a novel possible therapeutic target in neuropathic chronic pain.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cognitive disorders such as postoperative cognitive dysfunction, confusion, and delirium, are common following anesthesia in the elderly, with symptoms persisting for months or years in some patients. Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients appear to be particularly at risk of cognitive deterioration following anesthesia, and some studies suggest that exposure to anesthetics may increase the risk of AD. Here, we review the literature linking anesthesia to AD, with a focus on the biochemical consequences of anesthetic exposure on AD pathogenic pathways.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Frontiers in Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other tauopathies, the microtubule-associated protein tau can undergo aberrant hyperphosphorylation potentially leading to the development of neurofibrillary pathology. Anesthetics have been previously shown to induce tau hyperphosphorylation through a mechanism involving hypothermia-induced inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity. However, the effects of propofol, a common clinically used intravenous anesthetic, on tau phosphorylation under normothermic conditions are unknown. We investigated the effects of a general anesthetic dose of propofol on levels of phosphorylated tau in the mouse hippocampus and cortex under normothermic conditions. Thirty min following the administration of propofol 250 mg/kg i.p., significant increases in tau phosphorylation were observed at the AT8, CP13, and PHF-1 phosphoepitopes in the hippocampus, as well as at AT8, PHF-1, MC6, pS262, and pS422 epitopes in the cortex. However, we did not detect somatodendritic relocalization of tau. In both brain regions, tau hyperphosphorylation persisted at the AT8 epitope 2 h following propofol, although the sedative effects of the drug were no longer evident at this time point. By 6 h following propofol, levels of phosphorylated tau at AT8 returned to control levels. An initial decrease in the activity and expression of PP2A were observed, suggesting that PP2A inhibition is at least partly responsible for the hyperphosphorylation of tau at multiple sites following 30 min of propofol exposure. We also examined tau phosphorylation in SH-SY5Y cells transfected to overexpress human tau. A 1 h exposure to a clinically relevant concentration of propofol in vitro was also associated with tau hyperphosphorylation. These findings suggest that propofol increases tau phosphorylation both in vivo and in vitro under normothermic conditions, and further studies are warranted to determine the impact of this anesthetic on the acceleration of neurofibrillary pathology.