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Acta Neuropathol. 2011 Sep;122(3):285-92. doi: 10.1007/s00401-011-0843-x. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Postsynaptic degeneration as revealed by PSD-95 reduction occurs after advanced Aβ and tau pathology in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA. charles.shao@downstate.edu

Abstract

Impairment of synaptic plasticity underlies memory dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Molecules involved in this plasticity such as PSD-95, a major postsynaptic scaffold protein at excitatory synapses, may play an important role in AD pathogenesis. We examined the distribution of PSD-95 in transgenic mice of amyloidopathy (5XFAD) and tauopathy (JNPL3) as well as in AD brains using double-labeling immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. In wild type control mice, PSD-95 primarily labeled neuropil with distinct distribution in hippocampal apical dendrites. In 3-month-old 5XFAD mice, PSD-95 distribution was similar to that of wild type mice despite significant Aβ deposition. However, in 6-month-old 5XFAD mice, PSD-95 immunoreactivity in apical dendrites markedly decreased and prominent immunoreactivity was noted in neuronal soma in CA1 neurons. Similarly, PSD-95 immunoreactivity disappeared from apical dendrites and accumulated in neuronal soma in 14-month-old, but not in 3-month-old, JNPL3 mice. In AD brains, PSD-95 accumulated in Hirano bodies in hippocampal neurons. Our findings support the notion that either Aβ or tau can induce reduction of PSD-95 in excitatory synapses in hippocampus. Furthermore, this PSD-95 reduction is not an early event but occurs as the pathologies advance. Thus, the time-dependent PSD-95 reduction from synapses and accumulation in neuronal soma in transgenic mice and Hirano bodies in AD may mark postsynaptic degeneration that underlies long-term functional deficits.

PMID:
21630115
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3437675
Free PMC Article
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