Intracranial Injection of AAV Expressing NEP but Not IDE Reduces Amyloid Pathology in APP+PS1 Transgenic Mice

Nikisha Carty, Kevin R. Nash, Milene Brownlow, Dana Cruite, Donna Wilcock, Maj Linda B. Selenica, Daniel C. Lee, Marcia N. Gordon, Dave Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The accumulation of β-amyloid peptides in the brain has been recognized as an essential factor in Alzheimer's disease pathology. Several proteases, including Neprilysin (NEP), endothelin converting enzyme (ECE), and insulin degrading enzyme (IDE), have been shown to cleave β-amyloid peptides (Aβ). We have previously reported reductions in amyloid in APP+PS1 mice with increased expression of ECE. In this study we compared the vector-induced increased expression of NEP and IDE. We used recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors expressing either native forms of NEP (NEP-n) or IDE (IDE-n), or engineered secreted forms of NEP (NEP-s) or IDE (IDE-s). In a six-week study, immunohistochemistry staining for total Aβ was significantly decreased in animals receiving the NEP-n and NEP-s but not for IDE-n or IDE-s in either the hippocampus or cortex. Congo red staining followed a similar trend revealing significant decreases in the hippocampus and the cortex for NEP-n and NEP-s treatment groups. Our results indicate that while rAAV-IDE does not have the same therapeutic potential as rAAV-NEP, rAAV-NEP-s and NEP-n are effective at reducing amyloid loads, and both of these vectors continue to have significant effects nine months post-injection. As such, they may be considered reasonable candidates for gene therapy trials in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere59626
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 28 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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