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Brain. 2019 Oct 1;142(10):3243-3264. doi: 10.1093/brain/awz241.

CSF1R inhibitor JNJ-40346527 attenuates microglial proliferation and neurodegeneration in P301S mice.

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Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK.
Department of Physiology Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Sherrington Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK.
UK Dementia Research Institute, Cardiff University, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ, UK.
Janssen Research and Development, Turnhoutseweg 30, box 270, 2340 Beerse 1, Belgium.
Janssen Neuroscience Research and Development, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, Turnhoutseweg 30, 2340, Beerse, Belgium.
Department of Neuroimaging, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.
Experimental Medicine Imaging, GlaxoSmithKline, Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage, SG1 2NY, UK.
Neurosciences Therapeutic Area, GlaxoSmithKline R&D, Stevenage, UK.
Janssen Neuroscience External Innovation, Johnson and Johnson Innovation Centre, One Chapel Place, London, W1G 0BG, UK.
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK.


Neuroinflammation and microglial activation are significant processes in Alzheimer's disease pathology. Recent genome-wide association studies have highlighted multiple immune-related genes in association with Alzheimer's disease, and experimental data have demonstrated microglial proliferation as a significant component of the neuropathology. In this study, we tested the efficacy of the selective CSF1R inhibitor JNJ-40346527 (JNJ-527) in the P301S mouse tauopathy model. We first demonstrated the anti-proliferative effects of JNJ-527 on microglia in the ME7 prion model, and its impact on the inflammatory profile, and provided potential CNS biomarkers for clinical investigation with the compound, including pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics and efficacy assessment by TSPO autoradiography and CSF proteomics. Then, we showed for the first time that blockade of microglial proliferation and modification of microglial phenotype leads to an attenuation of tau-induced neurodegeneration and results in functional improvement in P301S mice. Overall, this work strongly supports the potential for inhibition of CSF1R as a target for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other tau-mediated neurodegenerative diseases.


Alzheimer’s disease; CSF1R; microglia; neuroinflammation; tau

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