Synthetic Tau Fibrils Mediate Transmission of Neurofibrillary Tangles in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's-Like Tauopathy

TitleSynthetic Tau Fibrils Mediate Transmission of Neurofibrillary Tangles in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's-Like Tauopathy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsIba, Michiyo, Jing L. Guo, Jennifer D. McBride, Bin Zhang, John Q. Trojanowski, and Virginia M. - Y. Lee
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume33
Pagination1024-1037
Type of ArticleResearch Support, N.I.H., ExtramuralResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
ISBN Number1529-2401 (Electronic)0270-6474 (Linking)
Accession NumberPMID: 23325240
AbstractTauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with tau pathologies, are neurodegenerative diseases characterized by neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) comprising filamentous tau protein. Although emerging evidence suggests that tau pathology may be transmitted, we demonstrate here that synthetic tau fibrils are sufficient to transmit tau inclusions in a mouse model. Specifically, intracerebral inoculation of young PS19 mice overexpressing mutant human tau (P301S) with synthetic preformed fibrils (pffs) assembled from recombinant full-length tau or truncated tau containing four microtubule binding repeats resulted in rapid induction of NFT-like inclusions that propagated from injected sites to connected brain regions in a time-dependent manner. Interestingly, injection of tau pffs into either hippocampus or striatum together with overlaying cortex gave rise to distinct pattern of spreading. Moreover, unlike tau pathology that spontaneously develops in old PS19 mice, the pff-induced tau inclusions more closely resembled AD NFTs because they were Thioflavin S positive, acetylated, and more resistant to proteinase K digestion. Together, our study demonstrates that synthetic tau pffs alone are capable of inducing authentic NFT-like tau aggregates and initiating spreading of tau pathology in a tauopathy mouse model.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.2642-12.2013
PMCIDPMCID: PMC3575082