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posted on 13.11.2019, 11:47 authored by Paula Maria Quaglio Bellozi, Giovanni Freitas Gomes, Leonardo Rossi de Oliveira, Isabella Guimarães Olmo, Érica Leandro Marciano Vieira, Fabíola Mara Ribeiro, Bernd L. Fiebich, Antônio Carlos Pinheiro de Oliveira

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease and the main cause of dementia. Its major symptom is memory loss, which is a result of neuronal cell death, which is accompanied by neuroinflammation. Some studies indicate the overactivation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in this disease, being, thus, a potential target for pharmacological treatment. Here, we used a transgenic mouse model of AD that expresses a mutant amyloid-β precursor protein (T41 mice) to investigate the effects of dactolisib (alternative name: NVP-BEZ235, abbreviation BEZ), a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor. Ten-months-old T41 animals were treated for 14 days with BEZ or vehicle via oral gavage and then submitted to social memory, open field and contextual conditioned fear tests. Hippocampal slices were prepared and Aβ1-42 content, NeuN, Iba-1, CD68 and GFAP were evaluated. Tissues were further processed to evaluate cytokines levels through cytometric bead array. The treatment with BEZ (5 mg/kg) reduced social memory impairment in T41 mice. However, BEZ did not have any effect on altered Aβ levels, NeuN, or GFAP staining. The drug reduced the CD68/Iba-1 ratio in CA3 region of hippocampus. Finally, BEZ diminished IL-10 levels in T41 mice. Thus, although its mechanisms are not clear, BEZ protects against memory impairment, reduces microglial activation and reestablishes IL-10 levels, revealing beneficial effects, which should be further investigated for the treatment of AD.