Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

The 49th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Neurology

Neurodegeneration and inflammation: analysis of a FTDP-17 model mouse

Yasumasa Yoshiyama, M.D.

Department of Neurology, Laboratory for Neurodegenerative Disorder Research, Clinical Research Center, Chiba-East National Hospital

Filamentous tau inclusions are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related tauopathies, and the discovery of mutations in the tau gene in frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17) constitutes convincing evidence that tau proteins play a key role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. To investigate the pathomechanism of tauopathies, we generated and studied P301S mutant human tau transgenic mice (line PS19). Filamentous tau lesions developed in PS19 mice at 6-months of age, and progressively accumulated in association with striking neuron loss as well as hippocampal and entorhinal cortical atrophy by 9-12 months of age. Remarkably, hippocampal synapse loss and impaired synaptic function were detected in 3 month old PS19 mice before fibrillary tau tangles emerged. Prominent microglial activation and proinflammatory cytokine expressions in neurons also preceded tangle formation. Importantly, immunosuppression of young PS19 mice with FK506 attenuated tau pathology, thereby linking neuroinflammation to early progression of tauopathies. Recently, an anti-inflammatory function of acetylcholine (ACh) has been reported, suggesting that synaptic dysfunction might accelerate neuroinflammatory reaction by depletion of ACH. To investigate this, we administered donepezil (DZ), an ACh-esterase inhibitor, and trihexiphenidyl (TP), an anti-cholinergic agent to PS19 mice. Interestingly, DZ ameliorated but TP deteriorated microglial activation, tau pathology and neuronal loss, indicating the ACh level in the brain might play roles in not only neurotransmission, but also suppressing neuroinflammation in the brain.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (191K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 48: 910|912, 2008)
key words: neurodegeneration, inflammation, frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), tau, transgenic mouse

(Received: 16-May-08)