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Investigating the potential of stem cell based therapy in an immunotoxin mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

Tiwari D, Warden H, Haynes JM, Nicolazzo JA, Pouton CW, Short JL (2013) Investigating the potential of stem cell based therapy in an immunotoxin mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroscience 2013 Abstracts 712.19. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.

Summary: Purpose: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by reduced cognitive function. Stem cell based therapeutic approaches are a potential therapeutic option. In order to investigate this possibility the study focuses on the characterization of a dual reporter embryonic stem (ES) cell line and validation of an immunotoxin mouse model of AD for future transplantation experiments. Methods: A dual (mcherry and Lhx8+) reporter ES cell line was derived from the E14Tg2a mouse ES cell line. The ES cells were assessed for their differentiation capability and characterized using mmunocytochemistry. For the immunotoxin model, 6-8 week old C57BL/6 male mice (n = 12) were treated with bilateral intracerebroventricular injections of saline (control) or mu-p75-saporin toxin (0.4µg/µl/mouse) to cause cholinergic neuronal lesions. Mice were cognitively assessed using a novel three day water maze (WM) protocol and the novel object recognition (NOR) paradigm. Immunohistochemistry was done to detect the toxin dependent loss of cholinergic neurons. Results and conclusions: A significant difference in learning the WM task was observed during cued and spatial trials, with toxin-treated mice taking longer to reach the platform than control mice (two way ANOVA; p<0.01). Performance in the WM during the probe trial was also significantly reduced in toxin-treated mice, compared to control mice (t-test; p<0.05), indicating memory loss in toxin-injected mice and better learning in the saline-treated controls. However, no memory impairment was detected using the NOR test. Immunohistochemistry for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) confirmed a significant loss (p<0.0001; t test) of cholinergic neurons in the medial septum. These data indicate that the toxin model is appropriate for use in subsequent transplantation studies. FACS analysis of the reporter cell line showed the presence of a small population of Lhx8+ cells at day 6 and 10 of differentiation. Immunocytochemistry for ChAT on day 18 cells revealed the presence of a few cholinergic positives neurons as compared to wild type controls. Literature suggests a possible role of Lhx8 in cholinergic development and these cells will be investigated further in order to select cholinergic progenitors for transplantation.

Related Products: mu p75-SAP (Cat. #IT-16)