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Neuroscience. 2008 Jul 31;155(1):154-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.05.017. Epub 2008 May 21.

Corticosterone and related receptor expression are associated with increased beta-amyloid plaques in isolated Tg2576 mice.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63110, USA. dongh@wustl.edu <dongh@wustl.edu>

Abstract

Previously, we reported that the stress associated with chronic isolation was associated with increased beta-amyloid (Abeta) plaque deposition and memory deficits in the Tg2576 transgenic animal model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) [Dong H, Goico B, Martin M, Csernansky CA, Bertchume A, Csernansky JG (2004) Effects of isolation stress on hippocampal neurogenesis, memory, and amyloid plaque deposition in APP (Tg2576) mutant mice. Neuroscience 127:601-609]. In this study, we investigated the potential mechanisms of stress-accelerated Abeta plaque deposition in this Tg2576 mice by examining the relationship between plasma corticosterone levels, expression of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor-1 (CRFR1) in the brain, brain tissue Abeta levels and Abeta plaque deposition during isolation or group housing from weaning (i.e. 3 weeks of age) until 27 weeks of age. We found that isolation housing significantly increased plasma corticosterone levels as compared with group-housing in both Tg+ mice (which contain and overexpress human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP) gene) and Tg- mice (which do not contain hAPP gene as control). Also, isolated, but not group-housed animals showed increases in the expression of GR in the cortex. Furthermore, the expression of CRFR1 was increased in isolated Tg+ mice, but decreased in isolated Tg- mice in both cortex and hippocampus. Changes in the components of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were accompanied by increases in brain tissue Abeta levels and Abeta plaque deposition in the hippocampus and overlying cortex in isolated Tg+ mice. These results suggest that isolation stress increases corticosterone levels and GR and CRFR1 expression in conjunction with increases in brain tissue Abeta levels and Abeta plaque deposition in the Tg2576 mouse model of AD.

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