Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a degenerative and irreversible disorder whose progressiveness is dependent on age. It is histopathologically characterized by the massive accumulation of insoluble forms of tau and amyloid-β (Aβ) asneurofibrillary tangles and neuritic plaques, respectively. Many studies have documented that these two polypeptides suffer several posttranslational modifications employing postmortem tissue sections from brains of patients with AD. In order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the posttranslational modifications of key players in this disease, including Aβ and tau, several transgenic mouse models have been developed. One of these models is the 3×Tg-AD transgenic mouse, carrying three transgenes encoding APPSWE, S1M146V, and TauP301L proteins. To further characterize this transgenicmouse, we determined the accumulation of fibrillar Aβ as a function of age in relation to the hyperphosphorylation patterns of TauP301L at both its N- and C-terminus in the hippocampal formation by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. Moreover, we searched for the expression of activated protein kinases and mediators of inflammation by western blot of wholeprotein extracts from hippocampal tissue sections since 3 to 28 months as well. Our results indicate that the presence of fibrillar Aβ deposits correlates with a significant activation of astrocytes and microglia in subiculum and CA1 regions of hippocampus. Accordingly, we also observed a significant increase in the expression of TNF-α associated to neuritic plaques and glial cells. Importantly, there is an overexpression of the stress activated protein kinases SAPK/JNK and Cdk-5 in pyramidal neurons, which might phosphorylate several residues at the C-terminus of TauP301L. Therefore, the accumulation of Aβ oligomers results in an inflammatory environment that upregulates kinases involved in hyperphosphorylation of TauP301L polypeptide.
Keywords: 3×Tg-AD transgenic mouse; Amyloid-β; TauP301L; hippocampus; inflammation.