A bell-shaped dependence between amyloidosis and GABA accumulation in astrocytes in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Functioning at the interface between the nervous and immune systems, in the amyloid-depositing brain, astrocytes become hypertrophic and accumulate around senile plaques. Moreover, hippocampal astrocytes upregulate their γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) content and enhance tonic inhibition, likely causing local circuit imbalance. It remains, however, unclear whether this effect is hippocampus specific and how it is regulated during disease progression. Here, we studied changes in astrocytic morphology and GABA content in the frontal cortex and dentate gyrus of control and amyloid-depositing mice. Healthy aging was accompanied by a transient increase in astrocytic GABA content at middle age and region-specific alterations of soma size. In contrast, amyloid deposition caused a gradual cortex-accentuated increase in soma size. Importantly, our data uncovered a bell-shaped relationship between the mouse age and astrocytic GABA content in both brain regions. Moreover, in mice carrying an Alzheimer's disease-related mutation in presenilin 1, astrocytes accumulated GABA even in the absence of amyloidosis. These data question the proposed inhibition of astrocytic GABA synthesis as a universal strategy for treating network dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease.


see more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29107186