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J Neuroinflammation. 2018 Feb 15;15(1):43. doi: 10.1186/s12974-018-1091-y.

Nuclear receptor agonist-driven modification of inflammation and amyloid pathology enhances and sustains cognitive improvements in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosciences, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA.
2
Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA.
3
Department of Neurosciences, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA. glandret@iu.edu.
4
Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA. glandret@iu.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a highly prevalent neurodegenerative disorder characterized by pathological hallmarks of beta-amyloid plaque deposits, tau pathology, inflammation, and cognitive decline. Treatment remains a clinical obstacle due to lack of effective therapeutics. Agonists targeting nuclear receptors, such as bexarotene, reversed cognitive deficits regardless of treatment duration and age in murine models of AD. While bexarotene demonstrated marked efficacy in decreasing plaque levels following short-term treatment, prolonged treatment did not modulate plaque burden. This suggested that plaques might reform in mice treated chronically with bexarotene and that cessation of bexarotene treatment before plaques reform might alter amyloid pathology, inflammation, and cognition in AD mice.

METHODS:

We utilized one-year-old APP/PS1 mice that were divided into two groups. We treated one group of mice for 2 weeks with bexarotene. The other group of mice was treated for 2 weeks with bexarotene followed by withdrawal of drug treatment for an additional 2 weeks. Cognition was evaluated using the novel-object recognition test either at the end of bexarotene treatment or the end of the withdrawal period. We then analyzed amyloid pathology and microgliosis at the conclusion of the study in both groups.

RESULTS:

Bexarotene treatment enhanced cognition in APP/PS1 mice similar to previous findings. Strikingly, we observed sustained cognitive improvements in mice in which bexarotene treatment was discontinued for 2 weeks. We observed a sustained reduction in microgliosis and plaque burden following drug withdrawal exclusively in the hippocampus.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings demonstrate that bexarotene selectively modifies aspects of neuroinflammation in a region-specific manner to reverse hippocampal-dependent cognitive deficits in AD mice and may provide insight to inform future studies with nuclear receptor agonists.

KEYWORDS:

ABCA1; AD; APOE; Bexarotene; Microgliosis; Nuclear receptors; RXR

PMID:
29448961
PMCID:
PMC5815248
DOI:
10.1186/s12974-018-1091-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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