In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (5)

Articles by Tara M. Weitz in JoVE

Other articles by Tara M. Weitz on PubMed

Microglia in Alzheimer's Disease: It's All About Context

International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22779026

Neuroinflammation is now regarded as both an early event and prime mover in the pathobiology of Alzheimer disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disease that represents a growing public health threat. As the resident innate immune cells within the central nervous system, microglia are centrally positioned as key orchestrators of brain inflammation. It is now accepted that numerous forms of activated microglia exist. Furthermore, while some types of reactive microglia are detrimental, others can actually be beneficial. In the context of AD etiopathology, much debate surrounds whether these enigmatic cells play "good" or "bad" roles. In this article, we distill a complex clinical and experimental literature focused on the contribution of microglia to AD pathology and progression. A synthesis of the literature only seems possible when considering context- the conditions under which microglia encounter and mount immunological responses to AD pathology. In order to carry out these diverse contextual responses, a number of key receptors and signaling pathways are variously activated. It will be critically important for future studies to address molecular mediators that lead to beneficial microglial responses and therefore represent important therapeutic targets for AD.

A Transgenic Alzheimer Rat with Plaques, Tau Pathology, Behavioral Impairment, Oligomeric Aβ, and Frank Neuronal Loss

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Apr, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23575824

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is hallmarked by amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and widespread cortical neuronal loss (Selkoe, 2001). The "amyloid cascade hypothesis" posits that cerebral amyloid sets neurotoxic events into motion that precipitate Alzheimer dementia (Hardy and Allsop, 1991). Yet, faithful recapitulation of all AD features in widely used transgenic (Tg) mice engineered to overproduce Aβ peptides has been elusive. We have developed a Tg rat model (line TgF344-AD) expressing mutant human amyloid precursor protein (APPsw) and presenilin 1 (PS1ΔE9) genes, each independent causes of early-onset familial AD. TgF344-AD rats manifest age-dependent cerebral amyloidosis that precedes tauopathy, gliosis, apoptotic loss of neurons in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, and cognitive disturbance. These results demonstrate progressive neurodegeneration of the Alzheimer type in these animals. The TgF344-AD rat fills a critical need for a next-generation animal model to enable basic and translational AD research.

MyD88 is Dispensable for Cerebral Amyloidosis and Neuroinflammation in APP/PS1 Transgenic Mice

The American Journal of Pathology. Nov, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25174876

Activated microglia are associated with amyloid plaques in transgenic mouse models of cerebral amyloidosis and in human Alzheimer disease; yet, their implication in Alzheimer disease pathogenesis remains unclear. It has been suggested that microglia play dual roles depending on the context of activation, contributing negatively to disease pathogenesis by secreting proinflammatory innate cytokines or performing a beneficial role via phagocytosis of amyloid beta (Aβ) deposits. Toll-like receptors, most of which signal through the adaptor protein myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), have been suggested as candidate Aβ innate pattern recognition receptors. It was recently reported that MyD88 deficiency reduced brain amyloid pathology and microglial activation. To assess a putative role of MyD88 in cerebral amyloidosis and glial activation in APPswe/PS1ΔE9 (APP/PS1) mice, we crossed MyD88-deficient (MyD88(-/-)) mice with APP/PS1 mice, interbred first filial offspring, and studied APP/PS1 MyD88(+/+), APP/PS1 MyD88(+/-), and APP/PS1 MyD88(-/-) cohorts. Biochemical analysis of detergent-soluble and detergent-insoluble Aβ1-40 or Aβ1-42 in brain homogenates did not reveal significant between-group differences. Furthermore, no significant differences were observed on amyloid plaque load or soluble fibrillar Aβ by quantitative immunohistochemical analysis. In addition, neither activated microglia nor astrocytes differed among the three groups. These data suggest that MyD88 signaling is dispensable for Aβ-induced glial activation and does not significantly affect the nature or extent of cerebral β-amyloidosis in APP/PS1 mice.

Multi-Shell Hybrid Diffusion Imaging (HYDI) at 7 Tesla in TgF344-AD Transgenic Alzheimer Rats

PloS One. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26683657

Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) is widely used to study microstructural characteristics of the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and high-angular resolution imaging (HARDI) are frequently used in radiology and neuroscience research but can be limited in describing the signal behavior in composite nerve fiber structures. Here, we developed and assessed the benefit of a comprehensive diffusion encoding scheme, known as hybrid diffusion imaging (HYDI), composed of 300 DWI volumes acquired at 7-Tesla with diffusion weightings at b = 1000, 3000, 4000, 8000 and 12000 s/mm2 and applied it in transgenic Alzheimer rats (line TgF344-AD) that model the full clinico-pathological spectrum of the human disease. We studied and visualized the effects of the multiple concentric "shells" when computing three distinct anisotropy maps-fractional anisotropy (FA), generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) and normalized quantitative anisotropy (NQA). We tested the added value of the multi-shell q-space sampling scheme, when reconstructing neural pathways using mathematical frameworks from DTI and q-ball imaging (QBI). We show a range of properties of HYDI, including lower apparent anisotropy when using high b-value shells in DTI-based reconstructions, and increases in apparent anisotropy in QBI-based reconstructions. Regardless of the reconstruction scheme, HYDI improves FA-, GFA- and NQA-aided tractography. HYDI may be valuable in human connectome projects and clinical research, as well as magnetic resonance research in experimental animals.

Amyloid Cascade into Clarity

Immunity. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27760336

In a recent issue of Nature, Sevigny et al. (2016) report findings from a phase 1b clinical trial of aducanumab (a monoclonal antibody targeting misfolded amyloid-β peptides), revitalizing the "amyloid cascade hypothesis" and bringing mononuclear phagocytes center stage in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

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