Focused ultrasound-induced blood-brain barrier opening improves adult hippocampal neurogenesis and cognitive function in a cholinergic degeneration dementia rat model

Jaewoo Shin, Chanho Kong, Jihyeon Lee, Bo Young Choi, Jiyeon Sim, Chin Su Koh, Minkyung Park, Young Cheol Na, Sang Won Suh, Won Seok Chang, Jin Woo Chang

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The persistence of adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) is sharply decreased in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The neuropathologies of AD include the presence of amyloid-β deposition in plaques, tau hyperphosphorylation in neurofibrillary tangles, and cholinergic system degeneration. The focused ultrasound (FUS)-mediated blood-brain barrier opening modulates tau hyperphosphorylation, the accumulation of amyloid-β proteins, and increases in AHN. However, it remains unclear whether FUS can modulate AHN in cholinergic-deficient conditions. In this study, we investigated the effect of FUS on AHN in a cholinergic degeneration rat model of dementia. Methods: Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 48; 200-250 g) were divided into control (phosphate-buffered saline injection), 192 IgG-saporin (SAP), and SAP+FUS groups; in the two latter groups, SAP was injected bilaterally into the lateral ventricle. We applied FUS to the bilateral hippocampus with microbubbles. Immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunoblotting, 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine labeling, an acetylcholinesterase assay, and the Morris water maze test were performed to assess choline acetyltransferase, acetylcholinesterase activity, brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression, neural proliferation, and spatial memory, respectively. Statistical significance of differences in between groups was calculated using one-way and two-way analyses of variance followed by Tukey's multiple comparison test to determine the individual and interactive effects of FUS on immunochemistry and behavioral analysis. P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Cholinergic degeneration in rats significantly decreased the number of choline acetyltransferase neurons (P < 0.05) in the basal forebrain, as well as AHN and spatial memory function. Rats that underwent FUS-mediated brain-blood barrier opening exhibited significant increases in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; P < 0.05), early growth response protein 1 (EGR1) (P < 0.01), AHN (P < 0.01), and acetylcholinesterase activity in the frontal cortex (P < 0.05) and hippocampus (P < 0.01) and crossing over (P < 0.01) the platform in the Morris water maze relative to the SAP group after sonication. Conclusions: FUS treatment increased AHN and improved spatial memory. This improvement was mediated by increased hippocampal BDNF and EGR1. FUS treatment may also restore AHN and protect against neurodegeneration, providing a potentially powerful therapeutic strategy for AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110
JournalAlzheimer's Research and Therapy
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 27

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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