Plaque-derived oxidative stress mediates distorted neurite trajectories in the Alzheimer mouse model
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2006 Nov;65(11):1082-9.
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Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized both by senile plaques and neurodegeneration, although the details of the relationship between the 2 are not well understood. We postulated that oxidative stress resulting from senile plaques may mediate plaques' effects on local neuronal processes. Using multiphoton microscopy, we directly demonstrate the generation of reactive oxygen species by senile plaques. After screening of several natural antioxidants ex vivo, we assessed in vivo the effect of 2 orally administered antioxidants in APPswe/PS1d9 transgenic mice. Both Ginkgo biloba extract and vitamin E reduced the oxidative stress resulting from senile plaques in vivo as monitored with intracranial imaging. Both treatments also lead to a progressive reversal of the structural changes in dystrophic neurites associated with senile plaques. These results suggest a causal relationship between plaque-associated oxidative stress and neuritic alterations and demonstrate for the first time that the focal neurotoxicity associated with the senile plaques of AD is partially reversible with antioxidant therapies. The quantitative ex vivo screen combined with in vivo monitoring of efficacy should lead to more effective clinical therapies for the prevention of oxidative stress and neurotoxicity in AD.