New publication: The Chen laboratory

Posted on Monday, February 24, 2020

Congratulations to the Chen team who published a paper “Neuronal Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B Hastens Amyloid β-Associated Alzheimer's Disease in Mice” featured in the Journal of Neuroscience.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder, resulting in the progressive decline of cognitive function in patients. Familial forms of AD are tied to mutations in the amyloid precursor protein, but the cellular mechanisms that cause AD remain unclear. Inflammation and amyloidosis from amyloid β (Aβ) aggregates are implicated in neuron loss and cognitive decline. Inflammation activates the protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), and this could suppress many signaling pathways that activate glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) implicated in neurodegeneration. However, the significance of PTP1B in AD pathology remains unclear. Here, we show that pharmacological inhibition of PTP1B with trodusquemine or selective ablation of PTP1B in neurons prevents hippocampal neuron loss and spatial memory deficits in a transgenic AD mouse model with Aβ pathology (hAPP-J20 mice of both sexes). Intriguingly, while systemic inhibition of PTP1B reduced inflammation in the hippocampus, neuronal PTP1B ablation did not. These results dissociate inflammation from neuronal loss and cognitive decline and demonstrate that neuronal PTP1B hastens neurodegeneration and cognitive decline in this model of AD. The protective effect of PTP1B inhibition or ablation coincides with the restoration of GSK3β inhibition. Neuronal ablation of PTP1B did not affect cerebral amyloid levels or plaque numbers, but reduced Aβ plaque size in the hippocampus. In summary, our preclinical study suggests that targeting PTP1B may be a new strategy to intervene in the progression of AD.

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