Inhibition of 2-Arachidonoylglycerol Metabolism Alleviates Neuropathology and Improves Cognitive Function in a Tau Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Jack Hashem, Mei Hu, Jian Zhang, Fei Gao, Chu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, which affects more than 5 million individuals in the USA. Unfortunately, no effective therapies are currently available to prevent development of AD or to halt progression of the disease. It has been proposed that monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the key enzyme degrading the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the brain, is a therapeutic target for AD based on the studies using the APP transgenic models of AD. While inhibition of 2-AG metabolism mitigates β-amyloid (Aβ) neuropathology, it is still not clear whether inactivation of MAGL alleviates tauopathies as accumulation and deposition of intracellular hyperphosphorylated tau protein are the neuropathological hallmark of AD. Here we show that JZL184, a potent MAGL inhibitor, significantly reduced proinflammatory cytokines, astrogliosis, phosphorylated GSK3β and tau, cleaved caspase-3, and phosphorylated NF-kB while it elevated PPARγ in P301S/PS19 mice, a tau mouse model of AD. Importantly, tau transgenic mice treated with JZL184 displayed improvements in spatial learning and memory retention. In addition, inactivation of MAGL ameliorates deteriorations in expression of synaptic proteins in P301S/PS19 mice. Our results provide further evidence that MAGL is a promising therapeutic target for AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4122-4133
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Volume58
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 2-Arachidonoylglycerol
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cognition
  • Monoacylglycerol lipase
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Tauopathies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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