Rhesus monkeys as a translational model for late-onset Alzheimer's disease

Academic Article


  • Age is a major risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) but seldom features in laboratory models of the disease. Furthermore, heterogeneity in size and density of AD plaques observed in individuals are not recapitulated in transgenic mouse models, presenting an incomplete picture. We show that the amyloid plaque microenvironment is not equivalent between rodent and primate species, and that differences in the impact of AD pathology on local metabolism and inflammation might explain established differences in neurodegeneration and functional decline. Using brain tissue from transgenic APP/PSEN1 mice, rhesus monkeys with age-related amyloid plaques, and human subjects with confirmed AD, we report altered energetics in the plaque microenvironment. Metabolic features included changes in mitochondrial distribution and enzymatic activity, and changes in redox cofactors NAD(P)H that were shared among species. A greater burden of lipofuscin was detected in the brains from monkeys and humans of advanced age compared to transgenic mice. Local inflammatory signatures indexed by astrogliosis and microglial activation were detected in each species; however, the inflamed zone was considerably larger for monkeys and humans. These data demonstrate the advantage of nonhuman primates in modeling the plaque microenvironment, and provide a new framework to investigate how AD pathology might contribute to functional loss.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Aging Cell  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Souder DC; Dreischmeier IA; Smith AB; Wright S; Martin SA; Sagar MAK; Eliceiri KW; Salamat SM; Bendlin BB; Colman RJ
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 6