Modeling Alzheimer disease with iPSCs and mouse model for the identification of risk factors, new targets, and potential therapeutical strategies

Graziosi, Agnese (2021) Modeling Alzheimer disease with iPSCs and mouse model for the identification of risk factors, new targets, and potential therapeutical strategies, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biotecnologiche, biocomputazionali, farmaceutiche e farmacologiche, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9847.
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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease in elderly. Donepezil is the first-line drug used for AD. In section one, the experimental activity was oriented to evaluate and characterize molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to neurodegeneration induced by the Aβ1-42 oligomers (Aβ1-42O) and potential neuroprotective effects of the hybrids feruloyl-donepezil compound called PQM130. The effects of PQM130 were compared to donepezil in a murine AD model, obtained by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of Aβ1-42O. The intraperitoneal administration of PQM130 (0.5-1 mg/kg) after i.c.v. Aβ1-42O injection improved learning and memory, protecting mice against spatial cognition decline. Moreover, it reduced oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and neuronal apoptosis, induced cell survival and protein synthesis in mice hippocampus. PQM130 modulated different pathways than donepezil, and it is more effective in counteracting Aβ1-42O damage. The section two of the experimental activity was focused on studying a loss of function variants of ABCA7. GWA studies identified mutations in the ABCA7 gene as a risk factor for AD. The mechanism through which ABCA7 contributes to AD is not clear. ABCA7 regulates lipid metabolism and critically controls phagocytic function. To investigate ABCA7 functions, CRISPR/Cas9 technology was used to engineer human iPSCs and to carry the genetic variant Y622*, which results in a premature stop codon, causing ABCA7 loss-of-function. From iPSCs, astrocytes were generated. This study revealed the effects of ABCA7 loss in astrocytes. ABCA7 Y622* mutation induced dysfunctional endocytic trafficking, impairing Aβ clearance, lipid dysregulation and cell homeostasis disruption, alterations that could contribute to AD. Though further studies are needed to confirm the PQM130 neuroprotective role and ABCA7 function in AD, the provided results showed a better understanding of AD pathophysiology, a new therapeutic approach to treat AD, and illustrated an innovative methodology for studying the disease.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Graziosi, Agnese
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
alzheimer iPSCs neuroprotection neurodegeneration CRISPR/Cas9 ABCA7 PQM130
Data di discussione
28 Maggio 2021

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