Aging African green monkeys manifest transcriptional, pathological, and cognitive hallmarks of human Alzheimer's disease

Paige E. Cramer, Renee C. Gentzel, Keith Q. Tanis, Joshua Vardigan, Yi Wang, Brett Connolly, Philip Manfre, Kenneth Lodge, John J. Renger, Celina Zerbinatti, Jason M. Uslaner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

While many preclinical models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been reported, none fully recapitulate the disease. In an effort to identify an appropriate preclinical disease model, we characterized age-related changes in 2 higher order species, the African green monkey (AGM) and the rhesus macaque. Gene expression profiles in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the visual cortex showed age-related changes in AGMs that are strikingly reminiscent of AD, whereas aged rhesus were most similar to healthy elderly humans. Biochemically, age-related changes in AGM cerebrospinal fluid levels of tau, phospho-tau, and amyloid beta were consistent with AD. Histologically, aged AGMs displayed pathological hallmarks of the disease, plaques, and 2 AGMs showed evidence of neurofibrillary tangle-like structures. We hypothesized and confirmed that AGMs have age-related cognitive deficits via a prefrontal cortex-dependent cognition test, and that symptomatic treatments that improve cognition in AD patients show efficacy in AGMs. These data suggest that the AGM could represent a novel and improved translational model to assist in the development of therapeutics for AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-106
Number of pages15
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume64
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African green monkey
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid beta
  • Cognition
  • Rhesus
  • Tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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