Reduction of Blood Amyloid-β Oligomers in Alzheimer's Disease Transgenic Mice by c-Abl Kinase Inhibition.

Therapeutic Approaches


One of the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the presence of amyloid plaques, which are deposits of misfolded and aggregated amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ). The role of the c-Abl tyrosine kinase in Aβ-mediated neurodegeneration has been previously reported. Here, we investigated the therapeutic potential of inhibiting c-Abl using imatinib. We developed a novel method, based on a technique used to detect prions (PMCA), to measure minute amounts of misfolded-Aβ in the blood of AD transgenic mice. We found that imatinib reduces Aβ-oligomers in plasma, which correlates with a reduction of AD brain features such as plaques and oligomers accumulation, neuroinflammation, and cognitive deficits. Cells exposed to imatinib and c-Abl KO mice display decreased levels of β-CTF fragments, suggesting that an altered processing of the amyloid-beta protein precursor is the most probable mechanism behind imatinib effects. Our findings support the role of c-Abl in Aβ accumulation and AD, and propose AD-PMCA as a new tool to evaluate AD progression and screening for drug candidates.


Estrada, Lisbell D; Chamorro, David; Yañez, María José; Gonzalez, Marcelo; Leal, Nancy; von Bernhardi, Rommy; Dulcey, Andrés E; Marugan, Juan; Ferrer-Alegre, Marc; Soto, Claudio; Zanlungo, Silvana; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C; Alvarez, Alejandra R;

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