Loss of glucocorticoid receptor phosphorylation contributes to cognitive and neurocentric damages of the amyloid-β pathway

Posted on 23.06.2022 - 07:41
Abstract Aberrant cortisol and activation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) play an essential role in age-related progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the GR pathways required for influencing the pathobiology of AD dementia remain unknown. To address this, we studied an early phase of AD-like progression in the well-established APP/PS1 mouse model combined with targeted mutations in the BDNF-dependent GR phosphorylation sites (serines 134/267) using molecular, behavioral and neuroimaging approaches. We found that disrupting GR phosphorylation (S134A/S267A) in mice exacerbated the deleterious effects of the APP/PS1 genotype on mortality, neuroplasticity and cognition, without affecting either amyloid-β deposition or vascular pathology. The dynamics, maturation and retention of task-induced new dendritic spines of cortical excitatory neurons required GR phosphorylation at the BDNF-dependent sites that amyloid-β compromised. Parallel studies in postmortem human prefrontal cortex revealed AD subjects had downregulated BDNF signaling and concomitant upregulated cortisol pathway activation, which correlated with cognitive decline. These results provide key evidence that the loss of neurotrophin-mediated GR phosphorylation pathway promotes the detrimental effects of the brain cortisol response that contributes to the onset and/or progression of AD dementia. These findings have important translational implications as they provide a novel approach to treating AD dementia by identifying drugs that increase GR phosphorylation selectively at the neurotrophic sites to improve memory and cognition.


Dromard, Yann; Arango-Lievano, Margarita; Borie, Amelie; Dedin, Maheva; Fontanaud, Pierre; Torrent, Joan; et al. (2022): Loss of glucocorticoid receptor phosphorylation contributes to cognitive and neurocentric damages of the amyloid-β pathway. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6060568.v1
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Acta Neuropathologica Communications


Yann Dromard
Margarita Arango-Lievano
Amelie Borie
Maheva Dedin
Pierre Fontanaud
Joan Torrent
Michael J. Garabedian
Stephen D. Ginsberg
Freddy Jeanneteau
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