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Adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP 1) [CAP]


Alcohol drinking exacerbates neural and behavioral pathology in the 3xTg-AD mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that represents the most common cause of dementia in the United States. Although the link between alcohol use and AD has been studied, preclinical research has potential to elucidate neurobiological mechanisms that underlie this interaction. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that nondependent alcohol drinking exacerbates the onset and magnitude of AD-like neural and behavioral pathology. We first evaluated the impact of voluntary 24-h, two-bottle choice home-cage alcohol drinking on the prefrontal cortex and amygdala neuroproteome in C57BL/6J mice and found a striking association between alcohol drinking and AD-like pathology. Bioinformatics identified the AD-associated proteins MAPT (Tau), amyloid beta precursor protein (APP), and presenilin-1 (PSEN-1) as the main modulators of alcohol-sensitive protein networks that included AD-related proteins that regulate energy metabolism (ATP5D, HK1, AK1, PGAM1, CKB), cytoskeletal development (BASP1, CAP1, DPYSL2 [CRMP2], ALDOA, TUBA1A, CFL2, ACTG1), cellular/oxidative stress (HSPA5, HSPA8, ENO1, ENO2), and DNA regulation (PURA, YWHAZ). To address the impact of alcohol drinking on AD, studies were conducted using 3xTg-AD mice that express human MAPT, APP, and PSEN-1 transgenes and develop AD-like brain and behavioral pathology. 3xTg-AD and wild-type mice consumed alcohol or saccharin for 4 months. Behavioral tests were administered during a 1-month alcohol-free period. Alcohol intake induced AD-like behavioral pathologies in 3xTg-AD mice including impaired spatial memory in the Morris Water Maze, diminished sensorimotor gating as measured by prepulse inhibition, and exacerbated conditioned fear. Multiplex immunoassay conducted on brain lysates showed that alcohol drinking upregulated primary markers of AD pathology in 3xTg-AD mice: Aβ 42/40 ratio in the lateral entorhinal and prefrontal cortex and total Tau expression in the lateral entorhinal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and amygdala at 1-month post alcohol exposure. Immunocytochemistry showed that alcohol use upregulated expression of pTau (Ser199/Ser202) in the hippocampus, which is consistent with late-stage AD. According to the NIA-AA Research Framework, these results suggest that alcohol use is associated with Alzheimer's pathology. Results also showed that alcohol use was associated with a general reduction in Akt/mTOR signaling via several phosphoproteins (IR, IRS1, IGF1R, PTEN, ERK, mTOR, p70S6K, RPS6) in multiple brain regions including hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. Dysregulation of Akt/mTOR phosphoproteins suggests alcohol may target this pathway in AD progression. These results suggest that nondependent alcohol drinking increases the onset and magnitude of AD-like neural and behavioral pathology in 3xTg-AD mice.

MeSH Terms

  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • tau Proteins


  • Aging
  • Amyloid beta
  • Ethanol
  • GSK
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Morris Water Maze
  • Prepulse inhibition
  • Self-administration
  • Tau pathology
  • Transgenic mouse model