Deficiency in the transcription factor NRF2 worsens inflammatory parameters in a mouse model with combined tauopathy and amyloidopathy

Ana I. Rojo, Marta Pajares, Angel J. García-Yagüe, Izaskun Buendia, Fred Van Leuven, Masayuki Yamamoto, Manuela G. López, Antonio Cuadrado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronic neuroinflammation is a hallmark of the onset and progression of brain proteinopathies such as Alzheimer disease (AD) and it is suspected to participate in the neurodegenerative process. Transcription factor NRF2, a master regulator of redox homeostasis, controls acute inflammation but its relevance in low-grade chronic inflammation of AD is inconclusive due to lack of good mouse models. We have addressed this question in a transgenic mouse that combines amyloidopathy and tauopathy with either wild type (AT-NRF2-WT) or NRF2-deficiency (AT-NRF2-KO). AT-NRF2-WT mice died prematurely, at around 14 months of age, due to motor deficits and a terminal spinal deformity but AT-NRF2-KO mice died roughly 2 months earlier. NRF2-deficiency correlated with exacerbated astrogliosis and microgliosis, as determined by an increase in GFAP, IBA1 and CD11b levels. The immunomodulatory molecule dimethyl fumarate (DMF), a drug already used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis whose main target is accepted to be NRF2, was tested in this preclinical model. Daily oral gavage of DMF during six weeks reduced glial and inflammatory markers and improved cognition and motor complications in the AT-NRF2-WT mice compared with the vehicle-treated animals. This study demonstrates the relevance of the inflammatory response in experimental AD, tightly regulated by NRF2 activity, and provides a new strategy to fight AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
JournalRedox Biology
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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