Bexarotene therapy ameliorates behavioral deficits and induces functional and molecular changes in very-old Triple Transgenic Mice model of Alzheimer´s disease


Introduction Bexarotene, a retinoid X receptor agonist, improves cognition in murine models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study evaluated the effects of bexarotene on pathological and electrophysiological changes in very old triple transgenic AD mice (3xTg-AD mice).


Methods 24-month-old 3xTg-AD mice were treated with bexarotene (100 mg/kg/day for 30 days). The Morris water maze was used to evaluate spatial memory; immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy were used to evaluate pathological changes; and in vivo electrophysiological recordings were used to evaluate basal transmission and plasticity in the commissural CA3-CA1 pathway.


Results In addition to cognitive improvement, bexarotene-treated 3xTg-AD mice were found to have 1) reductions of astrogliosis and reactive microglia both in cortex and hippocampus; 2) increased ApoE expression restricted to CA1; 3) increased number of cells co-labeled with ApoE and NeuN; 4) recovery of NeuN expression, suggesting neuronal protection; and, 5) recovery of basal synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity.


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