Journal article Open Access

Expression of Phenotypic Astrocyte Marker Is Increased in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease versus Age-Matched Controls: A Presymptomatic Stage Study.

Doméné, Aurélie; Cavanagh, Chelsea; Page, Guylène; Bodard, Sylvie; Klein, Christophe; Delarasse, Cécile; Chalon, Sylvie; Krantic, Slavica

Recent mouse studies of the presymptomatic stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have suggested that proinflammatory changes, such as glial activation and cytokine induction, may occur already at this early stage through unknown mechanisms. Because TNFα contributes to increased Aβ production from the Aβ precursor protein (APP), we assessed a putative correlation between APP/Aβ and TNFα during the presymptomatic stage as well as early astrocyte activation in the hippocampus of 3-month-old APPswe/PS1dE9 mice. While Western blots revealed significant APP expression, Aβ was not detectable by Western blot or ELISA attesting that 3-month-old, APPswe/PS1dE9 mice are at a presymptomatic stage of AD-like pathology. Western blots were also used to show increased GFAP expression in transgenic mice that positively correlated with both TNFα and APP, which were also mutually correlated. Subregional immunohistochemical quantification of phenotypic (GFAP) and functional (TSPO) markers of astrocyte activation indicated a selective and significant increase in GFAP-immunoreactive (IR) cells in the dentate gyrus of APPswe/PS1dE9 mice. Our data suggest that subtle morphological and phenotypic alterations, compatible with the engagement of astrocyte along the activation pathway, occur in the hippocampus already at the presymptomatic stage of AD.

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