Chronic nSMase inhibition suppresses neuronal exosome spreading and sex-specifically attenuates amyloid pathology in APP knock-in Alzheimer's disease mice

Francesca E. Mowry, Francisco Espejo-Porras, Shijie Jin, Zainuddin Quadri, Limin Wu, Marcela Bertolio, Rachel Jarvis, Caroline Reynolds, Rashed Alananzeh, Erhard Bieberich, Yongjie Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Female biased pathology and cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been consistently observed with unclear underlying mechanisms. Although brain sphingolipid ceramide is elevated in AD patients, whether and how ceramide may contribute to sex-specific differences in amyloid pathology is unknown. Here we investigated the sex-specific impact of chronic pharmacological inhibition of neutral sphingomyelinase (nSMase), a key enzyme responsible for ceramide metabolism, on in vivo neuron-derived exosome dynamics, Aβ plaque load, and cognitive function in the APPNL-F/NL-F knock-in (APP NL-F) AD mouse model. Our results found sex-specific increase of cortical C20:0 ceramide and brain exosome levels only in APP NL-F but not in age-matched WT mice. Although nSMase inhibition similarly blocks exosome spreading in male and female mice, significantly reduced amyloid pathology was mostly observed in cortex and hippocampus of female APP NL-F mice with only modest effect found on male APP NL-F mice. Consistently, T maze test to examine spatial working memory revealed a female-specific reduction in spontaneous alternation rate in APP NL-F mice, which was fully reversed with chronic nSMase inhibition. Together, our results suggest that disease induced changes in ceramide and exosome pathways contribute to the progression of female-specific amyloid pathology in APP NL-F AD models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106213
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Volume184
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Ceramide
  • Exosome
  • Sex
  • nSMase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology

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