Neuroinflammation and amyloid-beta 40 are associated with reduced serotonin transporter (SERT) activity in a transgenic model of familial Alzheimer's disease

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  • Athanasios Metaxas, Syddansk Universitet
  • ,
  • Marco Anzalone, Syddansk Universitet
  • ,
  • Ramanan Vaitheeswaran, Syddansk Universitet
  • ,
  • Sussanne Petersen, Syddansk Universitet
  • ,
  • Anne M. Landau
  • Bente Finsen, Department of Neurobiology, Syddansk Universitet

Background: Discrepant and often contradictory results have accumulated regarding the antidepressant and pro-cognitive effects of serotonin transporter (SERT) antagonists in Alzheimer's disease. Methods: To address the discrepancy, we measured the activity and density of SERT in the neocortex of 3-24-month-old APP swe /PS1 dE9 and wild-type littermate mice, by using [ 3 H]DASB autoradiography and the [ 3 H]5-HT uptake assay. Levels of soluble amyloid-β (Aβ), and pro-inflammatory cytokines that can regulate SERT function, such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), were measured in parallel. Neuroinflammation in aging APP swe /PS1 dE9 mice was further evaluated by [ 3 H]PK11195 autoradiography. Results: Decreased SERT density was observed in the parietal and frontal cortex of 18-24-month-old APP swe /PS1 dE9 mice, compared to age-matched, wild-type animals. The maximal velocity uptake rate (V max ) of [ 3 H]5-HT was reduced in neocortical preparations from 20-month-old transgenic vs. wild-type mice. The reduction was observed when the proportion of soluble Aβ 40 in the Aβ 40/42 ratio increased in the aged transgenic brain. At concentrations compatible with those measured in 20-month-old APP swe /PS1 dE9 mice, synthetic human Aβ 40 , but not Aβ 42 , reduced the baseline V max of [ 3 H]5-HT by ~ 20%. Neuroinflammation in APP swe /PS1 dE9 vs. wild-type mice was evidenced by elevated [ 3 H]PK11195 binding levels and increased concentration of IL-1β protein, which preceded the reductions in neocortical SERT density and activity. Age-induced increases in the levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF were observed in both transgenic and wild-type animals. Conclusions: The progression of cerebral amyloidosis is associated with neuroinflammation and decreased presynaptic markers of serotonergic integrity and activity. The Aβ 40 -induced reduction in the uptake kinetics of [ 3 H]5-HT suggests that the activity of SERT, and potentially the effects of SERT antagonism, depend on the levels of interstitial Aβ 40 .

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalAlzheimer's Research & Therapy
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Alzheimer's disease, Amyloid-beta, APP /PS1, Cytokines, DASB, Neuroinflammation, Serotonin transporter, SSRIs, TSPO

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