407 research outputs found

    Increased mitochondrial calcium levels associated with neuronal death in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

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    Mitochondria contribute to shape intraneuronal Ca2+ signals. Excessive Ca2+ taken up by mitochondria could lead to cell death. Amyloid beta (A beta) causes cytosolic Ca2+ overload, but the effects of A beta on mitochondrial Ca2+ levels in Alzheimer's disease (AD) remain unclear. Using a ratiometric Ca2+ indicator targeted to neuronal mitochondria and intravital multiphoton microscopy, we find increased mitochondrial Ca2+ levels associated with plaque deposition and neuronal death in a transgenic mouse model of cerebral beta -amyloidosis. Naturally secreted soluble A beta applied onto the healthy brain increases Ca2+ concentration in mitochondria, which is prevented by blockage of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter. RNA-sequencing from post-mortem AD human brains shows downregulation in the expression of mitochondrial influx Ca2+ transporter genes, but upregulation in the genes related to mitochondrial Ca2+ efflux pathways, suggesting a counteracting effect to avoid Ca2+ overload. We propose lowering neuronal mitochondrial Ca2+ by inhibiting the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter as a novel potential therapeutic target against AD. Calvo-Rodriguez et al. show elevated calcium levels in neuronal mitochondria in a mouse model of cerebral beta -amyloidosis after plaque deposition, which precede rare neuron death events in this model. The mechanism involves toxic extracellular A beta oligomers and the mitochondrial calcium uniporter

    Neurodegenerative Diseases and Ageing

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    Mol Psychiatry

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    The Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP) undertook whole exome sequencing in 5,740 late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) cases and 5,096 cognitively normal controls primarily of European ancestry (EA), among whom 218 cases and 177 controls were Caribbean Hispanic (CH). An age-, sex- and APOE based risk score and family history were used to select cases most likely to harbor novel AD risk variants and controls least likely to develop AD by age 85 years. We tested ~1.5 million single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and 50,000 insertion-deletion polymorphisms (indels) for association to AD, using multiple models considering individual variants as well as gene-based tests aggregating rare, predicted functional, and loss of function variants. Sixteen single variants and 19 genes that met criteria for significant or suggestive associations after multiple-testing correction were evaluated for replication in four independent samples; three with whole exome sequencing (2,778 cases, 7,262 controls) and one with genome-wide genotyping imputed to the Haplotype Reference Consortium panel (9,343 cases, 11,527 controls). The top findings in the discovery sample were also followed-up in the ADSP whole-genome sequenced family-based dataset (197 members of 42 EA families and 501 members of 157 CH families). We identified novel and predicted functional genetic variants in genes previously associated with AD. We also detected associations in three novel genes: IGHG3 (p = 9.8 x 10(-7)), an immunoglobulin gene whose antibodies interact with beta-amyloid, a long non-coding RNA AC099552.4 (p = 1.2 x 10(-7)), and a zinc-finger protein ZNF655 (gene-based p = 5.0 x 10(-6)). The latter two suggest an important role for transcriptional regulation in AD pathogenesis

    Nuclear poly(ADP-ribose) activity is a therapeutic target in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Abstract Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating and fatal motor neuron disease. Diagnosis typically occurs in the fifth decade of life and the disease progresses rapidly leading to death within ~ 2–5 years of symptomatic onset. There is no cure, and the few available treatments offer only a modest extension in patient survival. A protein central to ALS is the nuclear RNA/DNA-binding protein, TDP-43. In > 95% of ALS patients, TDP-43 is cleared from the nucleus and forms phosphorylated protein aggregates in the cytoplasm of affected neurons and glia. We recently defined that poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) activity regulates TDP-43-associated toxicity. PAR is a posttranslational modification that is attached to target proteins by PAR polymerases (PARPs). PARP-1 and PARP-2 are the major enzymes that are active in the nucleus. Here, we uncovered that the motor neurons of the ALS spinal cord were associated with elevated nuclear PAR, suggesting elevated PARP activity. Veliparib, a small-molecule inhibitor of nuclear PARP-1/2, mitigated the formation of cytoplasmic TDP-43 aggregates in mammalian cells. In primary spinal-cord cultures from rat, Veliparib also inhibited TDP-43-associated neuronal death. These studies uncover that PAR activity is misregulated in the ALS spinal cord, and a small-molecular inhibitor of PARP-1/2 activity may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of ALS and related disorders associated with abnormal TDP-43 homeostasis

    Altered Expression of Human Mitochondrial Branched Chain Aminotransferase in Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Vascular Dementia

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    © 2016, The Author(s). Cytosolic and mitochondrial human branched chain aminotransferase (hBCATc and hBCATm, respectively) play an integral role in brain glutamate metabolism. Regional increased levels of hBCATc in the CA1 and CA4 region of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain together with increased levels of hBCATm in frontal and temporal cortex of AD brains, suggest a role for these proteins in glutamate excitotoxicity. Glutamate toxicity is a key pathogenic feature of several neurological disorders including epilepsy associated dementia, AD, vascular dementia (VaD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). To further understand if these increases are specific to AD, the expression profiles of hBCATc and hBCATm were examined in other forms of dementia including DLB and VaD. Similar to AD, levels of hBCATm were significantly increased in the frontal and temporal cortex of VaD cases and in frontal cortex of DLB cases compared to controls, however there were no observed differences in hBCATc between groups in these areas. Moreover, multiple forms of hBCATm were observed that were particular to the disease state relative to matched controls. Real-time PCR revealed similar expression of hBCATm mRNA in frontal and temporal cortex for all cohort comparisons, whereas hBCATc mRNA expression was significantly increased in VaD cases compared to controls. Collectively our results suggest that hBCATm protein expression is significantly increased in the brains of DLB and VaD cases, similar to those reported in AD brain. These findings indicate a more global response to altered glutamate metabolism and suggest common metabolic responses that might reflect shared neurodegenerative mechanisms across several forms of dementia

    Post-mortem histopathology underlying β-amyloid PET imaging following flutemetamol F 18 injection

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    In vivo imaging of fibrillar β-amyloid deposits may assist clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), aid treatment selection for patients, assist clinical trials of therapeutic drugs through subject selection, and be used as an outcome measure. A recent phase III trial of [(18)F]flutemetamol positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in 106 end-of-life subjects demonstrated the ability to identify fibrillar β-amyloid by comparing in vivo PET to post-mortem histopathology. Post-mortem analyses demonstrated a broad and continuous spectrum of β-amyloid pathology in AD and other dementing and non-dementing disease groups. The GE067-026 trial demonstrated 91% sensitivity and 90% specificity of [(18)F]flutemetamol PET by majority read for the presence of moderate or frequent plaques. The probability of an abnormal [(18)F]flutemetamol scan increased with neocortical plaque density and AD diagnosis. All dementia cases with non-AD neurodegenerative diseases and those without histopathological features of β-amyloid deposits were [(18)F]flutemetamol negative. Majority PET assessments accurately reflected the amyloid plaque burden in 90% of cases. However, ten cases demonstrated a mismatch between PET image interpretations and post-mortem findings. Although tracer retention was best associated with amyloid in neuritic plaques, amyloid in diffuse plaques and cerebral amyloid angiopathy best explain three [(18)F]flutemetamol positive cases with mismatched (sparse) neuritic plaque burden. Advanced cortical atrophy was associated with the seven false negative [(18)F]flutemetamol images. The interpretation of images from pathologically equivocal cases was associated with low reader confidence and inter-reader agreement. Our results support that amyloid in neuritic plaque burden is the primary form of β-amyloid pathology detectable with [(18)F]flutemetamol PET imaging

    Post-mortem assessment in vascular dementia: advances and aspirations.

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    BACKGROUND: Cerebrovascular lesions are a frequent finding in the elderly population. However, the impact of these lesions on cognitive performance, the prevalence of vascular dementia, and the pathophysiology behind characteristic in vivo imaging findings are subject to controversy. Moreover, there are no standardised criteria for the neuropathological assessment of cerebrovascular disease or its related lesions in human post-mortem brains, and conventional histological techniques may indeed be insufficient to fully reflect the consequences of cerebrovascular disease. DISCUSSION: Here, we review and discuss both the neuropathological and in vivo imaging characteristics of cerebrovascular disease, prevalence rates of vascular dementia, and clinico-pathological correlations. We also discuss the frequent comorbidity of cerebrovascular pathology and Alzheimer's disease pathology, as well as the difficult and controversial issue of clinically differentiating between Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and mixed Alzheimer's disease/vascular dementia. Finally, we consider additional novel approaches to complement and enhance current post-mortem assessment of cerebral human tissue. CONCLUSION: Elucidation of the pathophysiology of cerebrovascular disease, clarification of characteristic findings of in vivo imaging and knowledge about the impact of combined pathologies are needed to improve the diagnostic accuracy of clinical diagnoses

    A Reduced Astrocyte Response to β-Amyloid Plaques in the Ageing Brain Associates with Cognitive Impairment

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    Aims β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques are a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease pathology but correlate poorly with dementia. They are associated with astrocytes which may modulate the effect of Aβ-deposition on the neuropil. This study characterised the astrocyte response to Aβ plaque subtypes, and investigated their association with cognitive impairment. Methods Aβ plaque subtypes were identified in the cingulate gyrus using dual labelling immunohistochemistry to Aβ and GFAP+ astrocytes, and quantitated in two cortical areas: the area of densest plaque burden and the deep cortex near the white matter border (layer VI). Three subtypes were defined for both diffuse and compact plaques (also known as classical or core-plaques): Aβ plaque with (1) no associated astrocytes, (2) focal astrogliosis or (3) circumferential astrogliosis. Results In the area of densest burden, diffuse plaques with no astrogliosis (β = -0.05, p = 0.001) and with focal astrogliosis (β = -0.27, p = 0.009) significantly associated with lower MMSE scores when controlling for sex and age at death. In the deep cortex (layer VI), both diffuse and compact plaques without astrogliosis associated with lower MMSE scores (β = -0.15, p = 0.017 and β = -0.81, p = 0.03, respectively). Diffuse plaques with no astrogliosis in layer VI related to dementia status (OR = 1.05, p = 0.025). In the area of densest burden, diffuse plaques with no astrogliosis or with focal astrogliosis associated with increasing Braak stage (β = 0.01, p<0.001 and β = 0.07, p<0.001, respectively), and ApoEε4 genotype (OR = 1.02, p = 0.001 and OR = 1.10, p = 0.016, respectively). In layer VI all plaque subtypes associated with Braak stage, and compact amyloid plaques with little and no associated astrogliosis associated with ApoEε4 genotype (OR = 1.50, p = 0.014 and OR = 0.10, p = 0.003, respectively). Conclusions Reactive astrocytes in close proximity to either diffuse or compact plaques may have a neuroprotective role in the ageing brain, and possession of at least one copy of the ApoEε4 allele impacts the astroglial response to Aβ plaques
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