Senescence-accelerated OXYS rats are an experimental model of accelerated aging that was established from wistar stock via selection for susceptibility to cataractogenic effects of a galactose-rich diet and via subsequent inbreeding of highly susceptible rats. Currently, we have the 102nd generation of OXYS rats with spontaneously developing cataract and accelerated senescence syndrome, which means early development of a phenotype similar to human geriatric disorders, including accelerated brain aging. in recent years, our group found strong evidence that OXYS rats are a promising model for studies of the mechanisms of brain aging and neurodegenerative processes similar to those seen in Alzheimer disease (AD). The manifestation of behavioral alterations and learning and memory deficits develop since the fourth week of age, i.e., simultaneously with first signs of neurodegeneration detectable on magnetic resonance imaging and under a light microscope. in addition, impaired long-term potentiation has been demonstrated in OXYS rats by the age of 3 months. with age, neurodegenerative changes in the brain of OXYS rats become amplified. we have shown that this deterioration happens against the background of overproduction of amyloid precursor protein (AβPP), accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ), and hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein in the hippocampus and cortex. The development of AMDlike retinopathy in OXYS rats is also accompanied by increased accumulation of Aβ in the retina. These published data suggest that the OXYS strain may serve as a spontaneous rat model of AD-like pathology and could help to decipher the pathogenesis of AD.
The amyloid cascade hypothesis posits that deposition of the amyloid β (Aβ) peptide in the brain is a key event in the initiation of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nonetheless, it now seems increasingly unlikely that amyloid toxicity is the cause of sporadic AD, which leads to cognitive decline. Here, using accelerated-senescence nontransgenic OXYS rats, we confirmed that aggregation of Aβ is a later event in AD-like pathology. We showed that an age-dependent increase in the levels of Aβ1–42 and extracellular Aβ deposits in the brain of OXYS rats occur later than do synaptic losses, neuronal cell death, mitochondrial structural abnormalities, and hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein. We identified the variants of the genes that are strongly associated with the risk of either late-onset or early-onset AD, including App, Apoe4, Bace1, Psen1, Psen2, and Picalm. We found that in OXYS rats nonsynonymous SNPs were located only in the genes Casp3 and Sorl1. Thus, we present proof that OXYS rats may be a model of sporadic AD. It is possible that multiple age-associated pathological processes may precede the toxic amyloid accumulation, which in turn triggers the final stage of the sporadic form of AD and becomes a hallmark event of the disease.
We previously showed that mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 (plastoquinonyl-decyltriphenylphosphonium) at nanomolar concentrations is capable of preventing and slowing down some cerebral dysfunctions in accelerated-senescence OXYS rats. Here we demonstrate that OXYS rats develop behavior, learning, and memory deficits against a background of neurodegeneration signs detected by magnetic resonance tomography and amyloid-β (Aβ) pathology similar to those seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Long-term treatment with SkQ1 (250 nmol/kg body weight daily from the age of 1.5 to 23 months) reduced the age-related alterations in behavior and spatial memory deficit in Morris water maze in OXYS and Wistar rats. Furthermore, this is the first report that SkQ1 treatment slows down pathological accumulation of AβPP, Aβ, and hyperphosphorylation of tau-protein in OXYS rats, as well as age-dependent changes in healthy Wistar rats. Our results support the possibility of using the OXYS strain as a rat model of AD-like pathology. It seems probable that the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 can be a good prophylactic strategy to maintain brain health and to treat AD.
Mitochondrial aberrations are observed in human Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in medical conditions that increase the risk of this disorder, suggesting that mitochondrial dysfunction may contribute to pathophysiology of AD. Here, using OXYS rats that simulate key characteristics of sporadic AD, we set out to determine the role of mitochondria in the pathophysiology of this disorder. OXYS rats were treated with a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 from age 12 to 18 months, that is, during active progression of AD-like pathology in these animals. Dietary supplementation with SkQ1 caused this compound to accumulate in various brain regions, and it was localized mostly to neuronal mitochondria. Via improvement of structural and functional state of mitochondria, treatment with SkQ1 alleviated the structural neurodegenerative alterations, prevented the neuronal loss and synaptic damage, increased the levels of synaptic proteins, enhanced neurotrophic supply, and decreased amyloid-β1-42 protein levels and tau hyperphosphorylation in the hippocampus of OXYS rats, resulting in improvement of the learning ability and memory. Collectively, these data support that mitochondrial dysfunction may play a key role in the pathophysiology of AD and that therapies with target mitochondria are potent to normalize a wide range of cellular signaling processes and therefore slow the progression of AD.
Translational research on Alzheimer's disease (AD) has often focused on reducing the high cerebral levels of amyloid-β (Aβ) as a key characteristic of AD pathogenesis. There is, however, a growing body of evidence that synaptic dysfunction may be crucial for the development of the most common (sporadic) form of AD. The applicability of melatonin (mainly produced by the pineal gland) to the treatment of AD is actively evaluated, but usually, such studies are based on animal models of early-onset AD, which is responsible for only ~5% of AD cases. We have shown previously that in OXYS rats (an established model of sporadic AD), accumulation of toxic forms of Aβ in the brain occurs later than does the development of signs of neurodegenerative changes and synaptic failure. In this regard, recently, we uncovered beneficial neuroprotective effects of melatonin (prophylactic dietary supplementation) in OXYS rats. Our aim here was to evaluate, starting at the age of active progression of AD-like pathology in OXYS rats, the effects of long-term oral administration of melatonin on the structure of synapses and on neuronal and glial cells of the hippocampus. Melatonin significantly increased hippocampal synaptic density and the number of excitatory synapses, decreased the number of inhibitory synapses, and upregulated pre- and postsynaptic proteins (synapsin I and PSD-95, respectively). Furthermore, melatonin improved the ultrastructure of neuronal and glial cells and reduced glial density. Based on our past and present results, the repair of neuroplasticity by melatonin is a promising strategy against AD.
Recent data have indicated the emerging role of glomerular autophagy in diabetic kidney disease. We aimed to assess the effect of the SGLT2 inhibitor empagliflozin, the DPP4 inhibitor linagliptin, and their combination, on glomerular autophagy in a model of type 2 diabetes. Eight-week-old male db/db mice were randomly assigned to treatment with empagliflozin, linagliptin, empagliflozin-linagliptin or vehicle for 8 weeks. Age-matched non-diabetic db/+ mice acted as controls. To estimate glomerular autophagy, immunohistochemistry for beclin-1 and LAMP-1 was performed. Podocyte autophagy was assessed by counting the volume density (Vv) of autophagosomes, lysosomes and autolysosomes by transmission electron microscopy. LC3B and LAMP-1, autophagy markers, and caspase-3 and Bcl-2, apoptotic markers, were evaluated in renal cortex by western blot. Vehicle-treated db/db mice had weak glomerular staining for beclin-1 and LAMP-1 and reduced Vv of autophagosomes, autolysosomes and lysosomes in podocytes. Empagliflozin and linagliptin, both as monotherapy and in combination, enhanced the areas of glomerular staining for beclin-1 and LAMP-1 and increased Vv of autophagosomes and autolysosomes in podocytes. Renal LC3B and Bcl-2 were restored in actively treated animals. LAMP-1 expression was enhanced in the empagliflozin group; caspase-3 expression decreased in the empagliflozin-linagliptin group only. Mesangial expansion, podocyte foot process effacement and urinary albumin excretion were mitigated by both agents. The data provide further explanation for the mechanism of the renoprotective effect of SGLT2 inhibitors and DPP4 inhibitors in diabetes.Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 2987 2 of 22 dedifferentiation. In its turn, the loss or damage of podocytes causes dysfunction of the filtration barrier and increases albuminuria . Some recent studies have indicated an emerging role of autophagy downregulation in diabetic podocytopathy . Autophagy is a cellular recycling process involving self-degradation and reconstruction of damaged organelles and proteins . The process is vital for highly differentiated post-mitotic cells, such as neurons and podocytes . A growing body of evidence indicates a critical role of autophagy in maintaining podocyte integrity and renal function . Mice with podocyte-specific deletion of autophagic regulators, such as class III PI3K vacuolar protein sorting 34 (Vps34) and the Atg5 gene, develop early proteinuria, progressive glomerulosclerosis, and renal failure . Accordingly, autophagy is considered a potential therapeutic target for renal protection [8,9].Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and dipeptidylpeptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitors are promising antidiabetic agents introduced into clinical practice in the last decade. The antihyperglycemic effect of SGLT2 inhibitors is mediated by increment of glucosuria, while DPP4 inhibitors realize their activity through an increase in the half-life of incretin hormones. Both SGLT2 and DPP4 inhibitors demonstrated renal protective...
Melatonin synthesis is disordered in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). To determine the role of melatonin in the pathogenesis of AD, suitable animal models are needed. The OXYS rats are an experimental model of accelerated senescence that has also been proposed as a spontaneous rat model of AD-like pathology. In the present study, we demonstrate that disturbances in melatonin secretion occur in OXYS rats at 4 months of age. These disturbances occur simultaneously with manifestation of behavioral abnormalities against the background of neurodegeneration and alterations in hormonal status but before the signs of amyloid-β accumulation. We examined whether oral administration of melatonin could normalize the melatonin secretion and have beneficial effects on OXYS rats before progression to AD-like pathology. The results showed that melatonin treatment restored melatonin secretion in the pineal gland of OXYS rats as well as the serum levels of growth hormone and IGF-1, the level of BDNF in the hippocampus and the healthy state of hippocampal neurons. Additionally, melatonin treatment of OXYS rats prevented an increase in anxiety and the decline of locomotor activity, of exploratory activity, and of reference memory. Thus, melatonin may be involved in AD progression, whereas oral administration of melatonin could be a prophylactic strategy to prevent or slow down the progression of some features of AD pathology.
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