Myelin disruption is a feature of natural aging and of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the CNS, myelin is produced by oligodendrocytes, which are generated throughout life by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). Here, we examined age-related changes in OPCs in APP/PS1 mice, a model for AD-like pathology, compared with non-transgenic (Tg) age-matched controls. Analysis was performed in the CA1 area of the hippocampus following immunolabelling for NG2 with the nuclear dye Hoescht, to identify OPC and OPC sister cells, a measure of OPC replication, together with Gpr17 and Olig2 for oligodendrocytes and myelin basic protein (MBP) immunostaining as a measure of myelination. The results indicate a decrease in the number of OPCs between 9 and 14 months in natural ageing and this occurred earlier at 9 months in APP/PS1 mice, without further decline at 14 months. The number of OPC sister cells was unaltered in natural aging, but declined significantly at 14-months in APP/PS1 mice. The number of GPR17+ and Olig2+ oligodendrocytes was not altered in APP/PS1, whereas MBP immunostaining increased between 9 and 14 months in natural ageing, but not in APP/PS1 mice. Notably, OPCs displayed marked morphological changes at 14 months in APP/PS1 mice, characterized by an overall shrinkage of OPC process domains and increased process branching, characteristic of reactive pathological changes. The results indicate that OPC and myelin disruption are pathological signs in the APP/PS1 mouse model of AD.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience