Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is currently being discussed as a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Mounting evidence indicates that increased HDAC6 expression may contribute to AD-associated neurodegeneration, although beneficial effects have also been identified. In the present study, we tested the potential of two selective HDAC6 inhibitors, tubastatin A and ACY-1215, to rescue cognitive deficits in a mouse model of AD. We found that both tubastatin A and ACY-1215 alleviated behavioral deficits, altered amyloid-β (Aβ) load, and reduced tau hyperphosphorylation in AD mice without obvious adverse effects. Our data suggested that tubastatin A and ACY-1215 not only promoted tubulin acetylation, but also reduced production and facilitated autophagic clearance of Aβ and hyperphosphorylated tau. Further, the decreased hyperphosphorylated tau and increased tubulin acetylation may account for the improved microtubule stability in AD mice after tubastatin A/ACY-1215 treatment. These preclinical results support the detrimental role of HDAC6 in AD, and offer prospective approaches for using tubastatin A/ACY-1215 as potential therapeutic strategy for AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; amyloid; autophagy; histone deacetylase (HDAC); tau.