Combination of Aβ Suppression and Innate Immune Activation in the Brain Significantly Attenuates Amyloid Plaque Deposition

Am J Pathol. 2017 Dec;187(12):2886-2894. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2017.08.010. Epub 2017 Sep 15.


Anti-Aβ clinical trials are currently under way to determine whether preventing amyloid deposition will be beneficial in arresting progression of Alzheimer disease. Both clinical and preclinical studies suggest that antiamyloid strategies are only effective if started at early stages of the disease process in a primary prevention strategy. Because this approach will be difficult to deploy, strategies for secondary prevention aimed at later stages of disease are also needed. In this study, we asked whether combining innate immune activation in the brain with concurrent Aβ suppression could enhance plaque clearance and could improve pathologic outcomes in mice with moderate amyloid pathologic disorder. Starting at 5 months of age, tet-off amyloid precursor protein transgenic mice were treated with doxycycline (dox) to suppress further amyloid precursor protein/Aβ production, and at the same time mice were intracranially injected with adeno-associated virus 1 expressing murine IL-6 (AAV1-mIL-6). Three months later, mice treated with the combination of Aβ suppression and AAV1-mIL-6 showed significantly less plaque pathologic disorder than dox or AAV1-mIL-6 only groups. The combination of AAV1-mIL-6 + dox treatment lowered total plaque burden by >60% versus untreated controls. Treatment with either dox or AAV1-mIL-6 alone was less effective than the combination. Our results suggest a synergistic mechanism by which the up-regulation of mIL-6 was able to improve plaque clearance in the setting of Aβ suppression.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / immunology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Dependovirus
  • Doxycycline / pharmacology
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects*
  • Interleukin-6 / administration & dosage
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Interleukin-6
  • Doxycycline