Restoring miR-132 expression rescues adult hippocampal neurogenesis and memory deficits in Alzheimer's disease

Hannah Walgrave, Sriram Balusu, Sarah Snoeck, Elke Vanden Eynden, Katleen Craessaerts, Nicky Thrupp, Leen Wolfs, Katrien Horré, Yannick Fourne, Alicja Ronisz, Edina Silajdžić, Amber Penning, Giorgia Tosoni, Zsuzsanna Callaerts-Vegh, Rudi D'Hooge, Dietmar Rudolf Thal, Henrik Zetterberg, Sandrine Thuret, Mark Fiers, Carlo Sala FrigerioBart De Strooper, Evgenia Salta

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Abstract

Neural stem cells residing in the hippocampal neurogenic niche sustain lifelong neurogenesis in the adult brain. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) is functionally linked to mnemonic and cognitive plasticity in humans and rodents. In Alzheimer's disease (AD), the process of generating new neurons at the hippocampal neurogenic niche is impeded, yet the mechanisms involved are unknown. Here we identify miR-132, one of the most consistently downregulated microRNAs in AD, as a potent regulator of AHN, exerting cell-autonomous proneurogenic effects in adult neural stem cells and their progeny. Using distinct AD mouse models, cultured human primary and established neural stem cells, and human patient material, we demonstrate that AHN is directly affected by AD pathology. miR-132 replacement in adult mouse AD hippocampus restores AHN and relevant memory deficits. Our findings corroborate the significance of AHN in mouse models of AD and reveal the possible therapeutic potential of targeting miR-132 in neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Stem Cell
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2021

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