IJMS, Vol. 20, Pages 4432: The Role of Lysosomes in a Broad Disease-Modifying Approach Evaluated across Transgenic Mouse Models of Alzheimer`s Disease and Parkinson`s Disease and Models of Mild Cognitive Impairment (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Many neurodegenerative disorders have lysosomal impediments, and the list of proposed treatments targeting lysosomes is growing. We investigated the role of lysosomes in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other age-related disorders, as well as in a strategy to compensate for lysosomal disturbances. Comprehensive immunostaining was used to analyze brains from wild-type mice vs. amyloid precursor protein/presenilin-1 (APP/PS1) mice that express mutant proteins linked to familial AD. Also, lysosomal modulation was evaluated for inducing synaptic and behavioral improvements in transgenic models of AD and Parkinson’s disease, and in models of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Amyloid plaques were surrounded by swollen organelles positive for the lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1) in the APP/PS1 cortex and hippocampus, regions with robust synaptic deterioration. Within neurons, lysosomes contain the amyloid β 42 (Aβ42) degradation product Aβ38, and this indicator of Aβ42 detoxification was augmented by Z-Phe-Ala-diazomethylketone (PADK; also known as ZFAD) as it enhanced the lysosomal hydrolase cathepsin B (CatB). PADK promoted Aβ42 colocalization with CatB in lysosomes that formed clusters in neurons, while reducing Aβ deposits as well. PADK also reduced amyloidogenic peptides and α-synuclein in correspondence with restored synaptic markers, and both synaptic and cognitive measures were improved in the APP/PS1 and MCI models. These findings indicate that lysosomal perturbation contributes to synaptic and cognitive decay, whereas safely enhancing protein clearance through modulated CatB ameliorates the compromised synapses and cognition, thus supporting early CatB upregulation as a disease-modifying therapy that may also slow the MCI to dementia continuum.