Impact du diabète et de l'obésité sur la pathologie Tau dans la maladie d'Alzheimer

Authors: Gratuze, Maud
Advisor: Planel, Emmanuel
Abstract: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading form of dementia worldwide. The two histopathological markers of AD are senile plaques composed of amyloid- peptide, and neurofibrillary tangles of abnormally hyperphosphorylated Tau protein. Tau pathology is important since it correlates with the degree of cognitive impairment in AD patients. The majority of AD cases are of sporadic form whose causes are still unknown; it seems to be multifactorial, with external, biological and/or genetic, which accelerate the manifestation of the disease. Epidemiological studies have shown that metabolic status of individuals during their life strongly increases the risk of developing AD. Indeed, metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes (T2D) or obesity are described as risk factors for AD. New cases of T2D and obesity is increasing because of people sedentarization, suggesting that the incidence of AD cases could follow this worrying growth. Therefore, it is essential to better understand the impact of these metabolic disorders on AD. Many studies have evaluated the impact of T2D and obesity in vivo on amyloid pathology, but there are fewer studies on the pathogenesis of Tau and they exhibit some discrepencies between results. In this context, our hypothesis is that diabetes and obesity could promote Tau pathology in vivo. Our first aim was thus to evaluate the phosphorylation of Tau protein in two mouse models that spontaneously develop obesity and DT2: the ob/ob and db/db mice. Significant hyperphosphorylation of Tau was observed in the brain of these two models, mainly due to hypothermia. Indeed, ob/ob and db/db mice were hypothermic and normothermia restored Tau phosphorylation similar to control levels. As caffeine has been shown to be beneficial for diabetes, obesity and Tau phosphorylation, we used it as a therapeutic treatment in ob/ob mice. Unexpectedly, chronic caffeine consumption exacerbated Tau hyperphosphorylation in ob/ob mice by promoting deeper hypothermia. Then, our second aim was to assess the impact of T2D and obesity on Tau pathogenesis in conditions closer to human pathology. For this purpose, we fed hTau mice, expressing the human Tau protein, with high-fat, high-cholesterol and/or high-sugar diets, described to induce obesity and DT2 in humans. On the other hand, caloric restriction and physical activity have been characterized to reduce the incidence and outcome of metabolic disorders as well as AD. We evaluated their impact on Tau pathology in obese hTau mice as therapeutic strategies. Surprisingly, we found no effect of fat, sugar and cholesterol, even combined, on Tau phosphorylation, O-GlcNAcylation, splicing, cleavage and aggregation, suggesting that their overconsumption does not worsen Tau pathology in these mice. Moreover, we observed a beneficial effect of exercise on Tau phosphorylation and a deleterious effect of caloric restriction on Tau aggregation in obese hTau mice. Finally, our last aim was to examin the effects of insulin deficiency on Tau pathology in hTau mice using streptozotocin injection, a toxin that destroys insulin producing cells. Hypoinsulinemic mice exhibited Tau hyperphosphorylation in the brain without aggregation through inhibition of PP2A, the main Tau phosphatase. All these results suggest that i) metabolic alterations can induce Tau hyperphosphorylation indirectly, by disrupting thermoregulation; ii) hypercaloric diets do not appear to modify Tau homeostasis under strictly controlled conditions; iii) insulin deficiency may induce Tau hyperphosphorylation without, however, leading to its aggregation. We also revealed that the strategies used to reduce AD have to be adapted to the meatbolic status of patients to avoid the exacerbation of some neuropathologies of AD. These data object to some published research and show that the relationship between metabolism and AD may be less direct than thought. This work establishes a basis of rigor and methodology, which could help to avoid some biases for future studies.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2017
Open Access Date: 24 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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