Regional differences in beta amyloid plaque deposition and variable response to midlife environmental enrichment in the cortex of APP/PS1 mice
Fulopova, B and Stuart, KE and Bennett, W and Bindoff, A and King, AE and Vickers, JC and Canty, AJ, Regional differences in beta amyloid plaque deposition and variable response to midlife environmental enrichment in the cortex of APP/PS1 mice, Journal of Comparative Neurology pp. 1-14. ISSN 0021-9967 (2020) [Refereed Article]
Environmentally enriched housing conditions can increase performance on cognitive tasks in APP/PS1 mice; however, the potential effects of environmental enrichment (EE) on disease modification in terms of pathological change are inconclusive. We hypothesized that previous contrasting findings may be attributable to regional differences in susceptibility to amyloid beta (Aβ) plaque deposition in cortical regions that are functionally associated with EE. We characterized fibrillar plaque deposition in 6, 12, and 18–22 months old APP/PS1 mice in the prefrontal (PFC), somatosensory (SS2), and primary motor cortex (M1). We found a significant increase in plaque load between 6 and 12 months in all regions. In animals over 12 months, only the PFC region continued to significantly accumulate plaques. Additionally, 12 months old animals subjected to 6 months of EE showed improved spatial navigation and had significantly fewer plaques in M1 and SS2, but not in the PFC. These findings suggest that the PFC region is selectively susceptible to Aβ deposition and less responsive to the attenuating effects of EE. In contrast, M1 and SS2 regions plateau with respect to Aβ deposition by 12 months of age and are susceptible to amyloid pathology modification by midlife EE.