TSPO ligand PK11195 improves Alzheimer-related outcomes in aged female 3xTg-AD mice

Publication date: 14 September 2018
Source:Neuroscience Letters, Volume 683
Author(s): Amy Christensen, Christian J. Pike
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis is a multifactorial process that involves numerous pathways within the central nervous system. Thus, interventions that interact with several disease-related pathways may offer an increased opportunity for successful prevention and treatment of AD. Translocator protein 18 kD (TSPO) is a mitochondrial protein that is associated with regulation of many cellular processes including inflammation, steroid synthesis, apoptosis, and mitochondrial respiration. Although TSPO ligands have been shown to be protective in several neurodegenerative paradigms, little work has been done to assess their potential as treatments for AD. Female 3xTg-AD mice were administered the TSPO ligand PK11195 once weekly for 5 weeks beginning at 16 months, an age characterized by extensive β-amyloid pathology and behavioral impairments. Animals treated with PK11195 showed improvements in behavior and modest reductions of in both soluble and deposited β-amyloid. The finding that short-term PK11195 treatment was effective in improving both behavioral and pathological outcomes in a model of late-stage AD supports further investigation of TSPO ligands as potential therapeutics for the treatment of AD.