May 9, 2021

A failure of β-amyloid physiological function due to genetic deletion of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors induces an Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology

The accumulation of amyloid-beta peptide (A{beta}) and the failure of cholinergic transmission are key players in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, in the healthy brain, A{beta} contributes to synaptic plasticity and memory acting through 7 subtype nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (7nAChRs). Here, we hypothesized that the 7nAChR deletion blocks A{beta} physiological function and promotes a compensatory increase in A{beta} levels that, in turn, triggers an AD-like pathology. To validate this hypothesis, we studied the age-dependent phenotype of 7 knock out mice. We found that 7nAChR deletion caused an impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory at 12 months of age, paralleled by an increase of Amyloid Precursor Protein expression and A{beta} levels. This was accompanied by other classical AD features such as a hyperphosphorylation of tau at residues Ser 199, Ser 396, Thr 205, a decrease of GSK-3{beta} at Ser 9, the presence of paired helical filaments and neurofibrillary tangles, neuronal loss and astrocytosis. Our findings suggest that 7nAChR malfunction might precede A{beta} and tau pathology, offering a different perspective to interpret the failure of anti-A{beta} therapies against AD and to find novel therapeutical approaches aimed at restoring 7nAChRs-mediated A{beta} function at the synapse.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

 Read More

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: