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Microglia Express Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 in the Hippocampus of Aged APPswe/PS1ΔE9 Transgenic Mice

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  • Christa Loth Myhre, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Camilla Thygesen, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Birgitte Villadsen, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Jeanette Vollerup, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Laura Ilkjaer, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Katrine Taekker Krohn, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Manuela Grebing, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Shuainan Zhao, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Asif Manzoor Khan, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Lasse Dissing-Olesen, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Morten Skovgaard Jensen
  • Alicia A. Babcock, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Bente Finsen, University of Southern Denmark

Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a pleiotropic molecule with neurotrophic and immunomodulatory functions. Knowing the capacity of chronically activated microglia to produce IGF-1 may therefore show essential to promote beneficial microglial functions in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we investigated the expression of IGF-1 mRNA and IGF-1 along with the expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) mRNA, and the amyloid-beta (A beta) plaque load in the hippocampus of 3- to 24-month-old APP(swe)/PS1(Delta E9) transgenic (Tg) and wild-type (WT) mice. As IGF-1, in particular, is implicated in neurogenesis we also monitored the proliferation of cells in the subgranular zone (sgz) of the dentate gyrus. We found that the A beta plaque load reached its maximum in aged 21- and 24 month-old APP(swe)/PS1(Delta E9) Tg mice, and that microglial reactivity and hippocampal IGF-1 and TNF mRNA levels were significantly elevated in aged APP(swe)/PS1(Delta E9) Tg mice. The sgz cell proliferation decreased with age, regardless of genotype and increased IGF-1/TNF mRNA levels. Interestingly, IGF-1 mRNA was expressed in subsets of sgz cells, likely neuroblasts, and neurons in both genotypes, regardless of age, as well as in glial-like cells. By double in situ hybridization these were shown to be IGF1 mRNA(+) CD11b mRNA(+) cells, i.e., IGF-1 mRNA-expressing microglia. Quantification showed a 2-fold increase in the number of microglia and IGF-1 mRNA-expressing microglia in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus in aged APP(swe)/PS1(Delta E9) Tg mice. Double-immunofluorescence showed that IGF-1 was expressed in a subset of A beta plaque-associated CD11b(+) microglia and in several subsets of neurons. Exposure of primary murine microglia and BV2 cells to A beta(42) did not affect IGF-1 mRNA expression. IGF-1 mRNA levels remained constant in WT mice with aging, unlike TNF mRNA levels which increased with aging. In conclusion, our results suggest that the increased IGF-1 mRNA levels can be ascribed to a larger number of IGF-1 mRNA-expressing microglia in the aged APP(swe)/PS1(Delta E9) Tg mice. The finding that subsets of microglia retain the capacity to express IGF-1 mRNA and IGF-1 in the aged APP(swe)/PS1(Delta E9) Tg mice is encouraging, considering the beneficial therapeutic potential of modulating microglial production of IGF-1 in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number308
JournalFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

    Research areas

  • neuroinflammation, tumor necrosis factor, insulin-like growth factor, cerebral amyloidosis, aging, neurogenesis, TUMOR-NECROSIS-FACTOR, BETA-AMYLOID LOAD, ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE, MESSENGER-RNA, IGF-I, ACTIVATED MICROGLIA, GENE-EXPRESSION, DENTATE GYRUS, MOUSE MODELS, NEUROGENESIS

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