LC3-Associated Endocytosis Facilitates β-Amyloid Clearance and Mitigates Neurodegeneration in Murine Alzheimer’s Disease.

Abstract

The expression of some proteins in the autophagy pathway declines with age, which may impact neurodegeneration in diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease. We have identified a novel non-canonical function of several autophagy proteins in the conjugation of LC3 to Rab5+, clathrin+ endosomes containing β-amyloid in a process of LC3-associated endocytosis (LANDO). We found that LANDO in microglia is a critical regulator of immune-mediated aggregate removal and microglial activation in a murine model of AD. Mice lacking LANDO but not canonical autophagy in the myeloid compartment or specifically in microglia have a robust increase in pro-inflammatory cytokine production in the hippocampus and increased levels of neurotoxic β-amyloid. This inflammation and β-amyloid deposition were associated with reactive microgliosis and tau hyperphosphorylation. LANDO-deficient AD mice displayed accelerated neurodegeneration, impaired neuronal signaling, and memory deficits. Our data support a protective role for LANDO in microglia in neurodegenerative pathologies resulting from β-amyloid deposition.