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Regional vulnerability and spreading of hyperphosphorylated tau in seeded mouse brain.

We have exploited whole brain microscopy to map the progressive deposition of hyperphosphorylated tau in intact, cleared mouse brain. We found that the three-dimensional spreading pattern of hyperphosphorylated tau in the brain of an aging Tau.P301L mouse model did not resemble that observed in AD patients. Injection of synthetic or patient-derived tau fibrils in the CA1 region resulted in a more faithful spreading pattern. Atlas-guided volumetric analysis showed a connectome-dependent spreading from the injection site and also revealed hyperphosphorylated tau deposits beyond the direct anatomical connections. In fibril-injected brains, we also detected a persistent subpopulation of rod-like and swollen microglia. Furthermore, we showed that the hyperphosphorylated tau load could be reduced by intracranial co-administration of, and to a lesser extent, by repeated systemic dosing with an antibody targeting the microtubule-binding domain of tau. Thus, the combination of targeted seeding and in toto staging of tau pathology allowed assessing regional vulnerability in a comprehensive manner, and holds potential as a preclinical drug validation tool.



Citation:

Regional vulnerability and spreading of hyperphosphorylated tau in seeded mouse brain. Detrez JR, Maurin H, Van Kolen K, Willems R, Colombelli J, Lechat B, Roucourt B, Van Leuven F, Baatout S, Larsen P, Nuydens R, Timmermans JP, De Vos WH. Neurobiol Dis. 2019 Jul;127:398-409. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2019.03.010. Epub 2019 Mar 14. PMID: 30878534.

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