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CX3CR1 protein signaling modulates microglial activation and protects against plaque-independent cognitive deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease.

TitleCX3CR1 protein signaling modulates microglial activation and protects against plaque-independent cognitive deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsCho S-H, Sun B, Zhou Y, Kauppinen TM, Halabisky B, Wes P, Ransohoff RM, Gan L
JournalJ Biol Chem
Volume286
Issue37
Pagination32713-22
Date Published2011 Sep 16
ISSN1083-351X
KeywordsAlzheimer Disease, Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor, Animals, Calbindins, Cognition Disorders, CX3C Chemokine Receptor 1, Cytokines, Dentate Gyrus, Disease Models, Animal, Humans, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Microglia, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Receptors, Chemokine, S100 Calcium Binding Protein G, Signal Transduction
Abstract

Aberrant microglial activation has been proposed to contribute to the cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease (AD), but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain enigmatic. Fractalkine signaling, a pathway mediating the communication between microglia and neurons, is deficient in AD brains and down-regulated by amyloid-β. Although fractalkine receptor (CX3CR1) on microglia was found to regulate plaque load, no functional effects have been reported. Our study demonstrates that CX3CR1 deficiency worsens the AD-related neuronal and behavioral deficits. The effects were associated with cytokine production but not with plaque deposition. Ablation of CX3CR1 in mice overexpressing human amyloid precursor protein enhanced Tau pathology and exacerbated the depletion of calbindin in the dentate gyrus. The levels of calbindin in the dentate gyrus correlated negatively with those of tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6, suggesting neurotoxic effects of inflammatory factors. Functionally, removing CX3CR1 in human amyloid precursor protein mice worsened the memory retention in passive avoidance and novel object recognition tests, and their memory loss in the novel object recognition test is associated with high levels of interleukin 6. Our findings identify CX3CR1 as a key microglial pathway in protecting against AD-related cognitive deficits that are associated with aberrant microglial activation and elevated inflammatory cytokines.

DOI10.1074/jbc.M111.254268
Alternate JournalJ. Biol. Chem.
PubMed ID21771791
PubMed Central IDPMC3173153
Grant ListP30 NS065780 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG030207 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
1R01AG030207 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
CO6 RRO18928. / CO / NCI NIH HHS / United States