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Disruption of the astrocyte–neuron interaction is responsible for the impairments in learning and memory in 5XFAD mice: an Alzheimers disease animal model

Cited 8 time in Web of Science Cited 9 time in Scopus

Choi, Moonseok; Lee, Sang-Min; Kim, Dongsoo; Im, Heh-In; Kim, Hye-Sun; Jeong, Yun Ha

Issue Date
Molecular Brain. 2021 Jul 10;14(1):111
Astrocyte–neuron interactionLearning impairmentsMemory impairmentsAlzheimer’s disease, 5XFAD mice
The morphological dynamics of astrocytes are altered in the hippocampus during memory induction. Astrocyte–neuron interactions on synapses are called tripartite synapses. These control the synaptic function in the central nervous system. Astrocytes are activated in a reactive state by STAT3 phosphorylation in 5XFAD mice, an Alzheimers disease (AD) animal model. However, changes in astrocyte–neuron interactions in reactive or resting-state astrocytes during memory induction remain to be defined. Here, we investigated the time-dependent changes in astrocyte morphology and the number of astrocyte–neuron interactions in the hippocampus over the course of long-term memory formation in 5XFAD mice. Hippocampal-dependent long-term memory was induced using a contextual fear conditioning test in 5XFAD mice. The number of astrocytic processes increased in both wild-type and 5XFAD mice during memory formation. To assess astrocyte–neuron interactions in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, we counted the colocalization of glial fibrillary acidic protein and postsynaptic density protein 95 via immunofluorescence. Both groups revealed an increase in astrocyte–neuron interactions after memory induction. At 24h after memory formation, the number of tripartite synapses returned to baseline levels in both groups. However, the total number of astrocyte–neuron interactions was significantly decreased in 5XFAD mice. Administration of Stattic, a STAT3 phosphorylation inhibitor, rescued the number of astrocyte–neuron interactions in 5XFAD mice. In conclusion, we suggest that a decreased number of astrocyte–neuron interactions may underlie memory impairment in the early stages of AD.
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