A Small Molecule p75NTR Ligand, LM11A-31, Reverses Cholinergic Neurite Dystrophy in Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Models With Mid- To Late-Stage Disease Progression

PLoS One. 2014 Aug 25;9(8):e102136. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102136. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons contributes significantly to the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and has been attributed to aberrant signaling through the neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR). Thus, modulating p75NTR signaling is considered a promising therapeutic strategy for AD. Accordingly, our laboratory has developed small molecule p75NTR ligands that increase survival signaling and inhibit amyloid-β-induced degenerative signaling in in vitro studies. Previous work found that a lead p75NTR ligand, LM11A-31, prevents degeneration of cholinergic neurites when given to an AD mouse model in the early stages of disease pathology. To extend its potential clinical applications, we sought to determine whether LM11A-31 could reverse cholinergic neurite atrophy when treatment begins in AD mouse models having mid- to late stages of pathology. Reversing pathology may have particular clinical relevance as most AD studies involve patients that are at an advanced pathological stage. In this study, LM11A-31 (50 or 75 mg/kg) was administered orally to two AD mouse models, Thy-1 hAPPLond/Swe (APPL/S) and Tg2576, at age ranges during which marked AD-like pathology manifests. In mid-stage male APPL/S mice, LM11A-31 administered for 3 months starting at 6-8 months of age prevented and/or reversed atrophy of basal forebrain cholinergic neurites and cortical dystrophic neurites. Importantly, a 1 month LM11A-31 treatment given to male APPL/S mice (12-13 months old) with late-stage pathology reversed the degeneration of cholinergic neurites in basal forebrain, ameliorated cortical dystrophic neurites, and normalized increased basal forebrain levels of p75NTR. Similar results were seen in female Tg2576 mice. These findings suggest that LM11A-31 can reduce and/or reverse fundamental AD pathologies in late-stage AD mice. Thus, targeting p75NTR is a promising approach to reducing AD-related degenerative processes that have progressed beyond early stages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cholinergic Neurons / drug effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoleucine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Isoleucine / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Morpholines / pharmacology*
  • Nerve Degeneration / prevention & control*
  • Neurites
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Receptor, Nerve Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*

Substances

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • LM11A-31
  • Morpholines
  • Protective Agents
  • Receptor, Nerve Growth Factor
  • Isoleucine