Dynamic alteration of neprilysin and endothelin-converting enzyme in age-dependent APPswe/PS1dE9 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

Li Zhou, Jianxu Liu, Dong Dong, Chunsheng Wei, Rui Wang
American Journal of Translational Research 2017, 9 (1): 184-196
Imbalance of Aβ production and Aβ removal leads to Aβ accumulation. Aβ degrading enzyme (including neprilysin-NEP, endothelin converting enzyme-ECE) as a therapeutic strategy for lowering brain Aβ deposition has attracted increasing attention. In this study, we investigated alteration of age and region-dependent in APP/PS1 double transgenic mice (3, 6, 9, 12 months) and their age-matched wild type mice including the ability of spatial memory, Aβ deposits, the protein expression, location and activity of NEP and ECE. Our data demonstrated that, as compared with wild type mice, APP/PS1 mice displayed significant cognitive deficit at 9 month revealed by obviously longer in the latency and distance to find the platform and shorter in time spent and swimming distance in the target quadrant. Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels exhibited a significant increase with age in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice after 6 month, compared with their age-matched wild type mice. And Aβ42 levels were significantly higher than Aβ40 levels in the same age of APP/PS1 mice. Furthermore, NEP protein and activity displayed a marked decrease with age in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice older than 6 month. Slightly different from NEP, ECE protein was up-regulated with age, while ECE activity showed a significantly decrease with age in cortex and hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice older than 6 month. Double immunofluorescence staining also demonstrated that ECE and NEP highly colocalized in cytoplasmic and membrane, and ECE immunoreactivity tended to increase with age in APP/PS1 mice, especially 12 month APP/PS1 mice. Correlation analysis showed the negative correlation between enzyme (NEP or ECE) activity and Aβ levels in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice, which was correlated with Aβ accumulation. These results indicate NEP rather than ECE plays more important role in resisting Aβ accumulation. The compensatory upregulation of NEP and ECE could balance Aβ metabolism and protect neuronal functions in infant and juvenile mice. These evidence might provide some clues for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

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