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Clemensson E.K.H.,Applied Genomics | Clemensson E.K.H.,Center for Rare Diseases | Clemensson L.E.,Applied Genomics | Clemensson L.E.,Center for Rare Diseases | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Huntington disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor, cognitive, psychiatric and metabolic symptoms. We recently published a study describing that the BACHD rat model of HD shows an obesity phenotype, which might affect their motivation to perform food-based behavioral tests. Further, we argued that using a food restriction protocol based on matching BACHD and wild type rats' food consumption rates might resolve these motivational differences. In the current study, we followed up on these ideas in a longitudinal study of the rats' performance in a progressive ratio test. We also investigated the phenotype of reduced food consumption rate, which is typically seen in foodrestricted BACHD rats, in greater detail. In line with our previous study, the BACHD rats were less motivated to perform the progressive ratio test compared to their wild type littermates, although the phenotype was no longer present when the rats' food consumption rates had been matched. However, video analysis of food consumption tests suggested that the reduced consumption rate found in the BACHD rats was not entirely based on differences in hunger, but likely involved motoric impairments. Thus, restriction protocols based on food consumption rates are not appropriate when working with BACHD rats. As an alternative, we suggest that studies where BACHD rats are used should investigate how the readouts of interest are affected by motivational differences, and use appropriate control tests to avoid misleading results. In addition, we show that BACHD rats display distinct behavioral changes in their progressive ratio performance, which might be indicative of striatal dysfunction. © 2017 Clemensson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Loffler T.,QPS Austria | Schweinzer C.,QPS Austria | Flunkert S.,QPS Austria | Santha M.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience | Year: 2016

Processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and amyloid beta (Aβ) has been for decades in the center of Alzheimer's disease (AD) research. Beside many other variables, lipids, especially cholesterol and its derivatives, are discussed to contribute to AD pathogenesis. Several studies show that cholesterol affects APP metabolism. Also the converse mechanism, the direct influence of Aβ on cholesterol metabolism, has been described. To further investigate this crosstalk between cholesterol- and APP metabolism, a high-fat feeding study was conducted with animals overexpressing human APPSL and/or human ApoB-100. The impact of diet and genotype on cerebral cholesterol metabolism and content as well as spatial learning and memory was examined.While behavioral performance was not influenced by this high fat diet (HFD), reduction of cortical free cholesterol levels and mRNA expression patterns under normal diet and HFD conditions in human APPSL overexpressing mice argue for an important role of APP in cerebral lipid metabolism. From our results we conclude that increased APP metabolism in ApoBxAPP and APPSL mice induces mechanisms to reduce free cholesterol levels. © 2016.


Krassnig S.,Medical University of Graz | Schweinzer C.,QPS Austria | Taub N.,QPS Austria | Havas D.,QPS Austria | And 5 more authors.
Neurodegenerative Diseases | Year: 2015

Background: β-Synuclein (β-Syn) is a member of the highly homologous synuclein protein family. The most prominent family member, α-synuclein (α-Syn), abnormally accumulates in so-called Lewy bodies, one of the major pathological hallmarks of α-synucleinopathies. Notably, parts of the peptide backbone, called the nonamyloid component, are also found in amyloid plaques. However, β-Syn seems to have beneficial effects by reducing α-Syn aggregation, and amyloid antiaggregatory activity has been described. Objective: The aim of the study was to analyze if wild-type β-Syn can counteract functional and pathological changes in a murine Alzheimer model over different time periods. Methods: At the onset of pathology, lentiviral particles expressing human β-Syn were injected into the hippocampus of transgenic mice overexpressing human amyloid precursor protein with Swedish and London mutations (APPSL). An empty vector served as the control. Behavioral analyses were performed 1, 3 and 6 months after injection followed by biochemical and histological examinations of brain samples. Results: β-Syn expression was locally concentrated and rather modest, but nevertheless changed its effect on APP expression and plaque load in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Interestingly, the phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta was enhanced in APPSL mice expressing human β-Syn, but an inverse trend was observed in wild-type animals. Conclusion: The initially reported beneficial effects of β-Syn could be partially reproduced, but locally elevated levels of β-Syn might also cause neurodegeneration. To enlighten the controversial pathological mechanism of β-Syn, further examinations considering the relationship between concentration and exposure time of β-Syn are needed. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Paganetti P.,AC Immune SA | Antoniello K.,AC Immune SA | Devraj K.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Toni N.,AC Immune SA | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2014

The formation and accumulation of toxic amyloid-β peptides (Aβ) in the brain may drive the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Accordingly, disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer's disease and related disorders could result from treatments regulating Aβ homeostasis. Examples are the inhibition of production, misfolding, and accumulation of Aβ or the enhancement of its clearance. Here we show that oral treatment with ACI-91 (Pirenzepine) dose-dependently reduced brain Aβ burden in AβPPPS1, hAβPPSL, and AβPP/PS1 transgenic mice. A possible mechanism of action of ACI-91 may occur through selective inhibition of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (AChR) on endothelial cells of brain microvessels and enhanced Aβ peptide clearance across the blood-brain barrier. One month treatment with ACI-91 increased the clearance of intrathecally-injected Aβ in plaque-bearing mice. ACI-91 also accelerated the clearance of brain-injected Aβ in blood and peripheral tissues by favoring its urinal excretion. A single oral dose of ACI-91 reduced the half-life of interstitial Aβ peptide in pre-plaque mhAβPP/PS1d mice. By extending our studies to an in vitro model, we showed that muscarinic AChR inhibition by ACI-91 and Darifenacin augmented the capacity of differentiated endothelial monolayers for active transport of Aβ peptide. Finally, ACI-91 was found to consistently affect, in vitro and in vivo, the expression of endothelial cell genes involved in Aβ transport across the Blood Brain Brain (BBB). Thus increased Aβ clearance through the BBB may contribute to reduced Aβ burden and associated phenotypes. Inhibition of muscarinic AChR restricted to the periphery may present a therapeutic advantage as it avoids adverse central cholinergic effects. © 2014 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Loffler T.,QPS Austria | Loffler T.,Medical University of Graz | Flunkert S.,QPS Austria | Havas D.,QPS Austria | And 4 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2013

During their lifetime, people are commonly exposed to several vascular risk factors that may affect brain ageing and cognitive function. In the last few years, increasing evidence suggests that pathological plasma lipid profiles contribute to the pathogenesis of late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Importantly, hypercholesterolemia, especially elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol values, that is, increased apolipoprotein B-100 (ApoB-100) levels, represents an independent risk factor. In this study, the effects of ApoB-100 overexpression, either alone or in combination with cerebral expression of human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP), on cognitive functions and brain pathology were assessed. Our results show that ApoB-100 overexpression induces memory decline and increases cerebral lipid peroxidation and amyloid beta levels compared to those in wild-type animals. Although double-transgenic ApoBxAPP animals did not develop more distinct behavioral deficits than single-transgenic hAPP littermates, hApoB-100 expression caused additional pathophysiological features, such as high LDL and low HDL-cholesterol levels, increased lipid peroxidation, and pronounced ApoB-100 accumulation in cerebral vessels. Thus, our results indicate that ApoBxAPP mice might better reflect the situation of elderly humans than hAPPsl overexpression alone. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | EVER Neuro Pharma GmbH, Medical University of Graz and QPS Austria
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of medicine and life | Year: 2015

Aging is associated with morphological and functional changes in the brain, resulting in the deterioration of cognitive performance. Growth factors like BDNF are suggested to be involved in the regulation of age-related processes in the brain. A novel dietary supplement produced from purified nerve cell proteins, N-PEP-12, has shown to share properties with naturally occurring peptide growth factors by stimulating neurite outgrowth and beneficial effects on neuronal survival and protection against metabolic stress in cell cultures. The current study investigates the effects of long-term intake on age-dependent memory decline by assessing cognitive performance and synaptic density. All the experiments were performed in aged Long Evans rats randomly assigned to saline or N-PEP-12 once daily by gavage over a period of three months. Behavioral tests were performed in the Morris Water Maze after one, two and three months of treatment. Histological examinations were performed in the hippocampal formation and in the entorhinal cortex by measuring the synaptic density. This study shows that the oral intake of N-PEP-12 has beneficial effects on the cognitive performance of aged animals and that these effects go along with an increase in the synaptic density. Thus, N-PEP-12 may help maintain memory and learning performance during the aging process.

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