A pinboard by
Zhuohao He

Postdoctor, University of Pennsylvania


This study revealed the mysterious interaction between two major AD hall markers.

In the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the accumulation of Aβ plaques is considered an early event while the formation of tau neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) is thought to be the more proximal cause of neuronal dysfunction and death. The distribution of NFTs in AD is usually restricted in medial temporal lobe at early Braak stages of AD pathology and in later Braak stages, tau pathology spreads outside the temporal lobe into Aβ-rich areas concomitant with significant cognitive dysfunction, lending support to the amyloid cascade hypothesis that Aβ promote NFT formation. However, this hypothesis has not been proven and the underlying mechanisms are enigmatic. Previous studies have attempted to elucidate the interaction between Aβ plaques and NFTs by utilizing transgenic (Tg) mice overexpressing tau with or without MAPT mutations found in rare cases of autosomal dominantly inherited frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). However, it is unclear if these results are applicable to AD since heterologous promoters were used to drive transgene overexpression, and an upregulation or mutation of tau has never been demonstrated in AD. Recently, we established a new paradigm by inducing tau pathologies in wild-type (WT) mice through intracerebral injection of tau fibrils purified from AD brains (AD-tau), which provides a unique opportunity to re-examine the amyloid cascade hypothesis in mice with endogenous levels of tau expression. Here, by injecting AD brain-derived pathological tau (AD-tau) into Aβ plaque-bearing mouse models without overexpression of tau, we recapitulated the formation of three major types of AD-relevant tau pathologies: tau aggregates in dystrophic neurites surrounding Aβ plaques (NPs), AD-like NFTs and neuropil threads (NTs). These distinct tau pathologies show differing temporal onsets and functional consequences on neural activity and behavior. More importantly, we found Aβ plaques created a unique environment that facilitated the rapid amplification of pathological AD-tau seeds into large tau aggregates initially as dystrophic NP tau, followed by the formation and spreading of NFTs and NTs, likely through secondary seeding events. Our study provides significant insight into a new multi-step mechanism underlying Aβ plaque-associated tau pathogenesis, as well as a most pathological relevant AD mouse model to date for identifying potential treatments for this devastating disease.


Essential role of TRPC6 channels in G2/M phase transition and development of human glioma.

Abstract: Patients with glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive form of glioma, have a median survival of approximately 12 months. Calcium (Ca(2+)) signaling plays an important role in cell proliferation, and some members of the Ca(2+)-permeable transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) family of channel proteins have demonstrated a role in the proliferation of many types of cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the role of TRPC6 in cell cycle progression and in the development of human glioma.TRPC6 protein and mRNA expression were assessed in glioma (n = 33) and normal (n = 17) brain tissues from patients and in human glioma cell lines U251, U87, and T98G. Activation of TRPC6 channels was tested by platelet-derived growth factor-induced Ca(2+) imaging. The effect of inhibiting TRPC6 activity or expression using the dominant-negative mutant TRPC6 (DNC6) or RNA interference, respectively, was tested on cell growth, cell cycle progression, radiosensitization of glioma cells, and development of xenografted human gliomas in a mouse model. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) and wild-type TRPC6 (WTC6) were used as controls. Survival of mice bearing xenografted tumors in the GFP, DNC6, and WTC6 groups (n = 13, 15, and 13, respectively) was compared using Kaplan-Meier analysis. All statistical tests were two-sided.Functional TRPC6 was overexpressed in human glioma cells. Inhibition of TRPC6 activity or expression attenuated the increase in intracellular Ca(2+) by platelet-derived growth factor, suppressed cell growth and clonogenic ability, induced cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase, and enhanced the antiproliferative effect of ionizing radiation. Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 activation and cell division cycle 25 homolog C expression regulated the cell cycle arrest. Inhibition of TRPC6 activity also reduced tumor volume in a subcutaneous mouse model of xenografted human tumors (P = .014 vs GFP; P < .001 vs WTC6) and increased mean survival in mice in an intracranial model (P < .001 vs GFP or WTC6).In this preclinical model, TRPC6 channels were essential for glioma development via regulation of G2/M phase transition. This study suggests that TRPC6 might be a new target for therapeutic intervention of human glioma.

Pub.: 18 Jun '10, Pinned: 24 Aug '17