Inflammation, insulin signaling and cognitive function in aged APP/PS1 mice.

Paul Denver, Andrew English, Paula McClean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
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Cognitive dysfunction and neuroinflammation are typical in Alzheimer's disease (AD), but are also associated with normal aging, albeit less severely. Insulin resistance in the brain has been demonstrated in AD patients and is thought to be involved in AD pathophysiology. Using 15-18 month-old APP/PS1 mice, this study measured peripheral and central insulin signaling and sensitivity, inflammatory markers in brain and plasma and oxidative stress and synapse density in the brain. Novel object recognition, Morris water maze and reversal water maze tasks were performed to assess cognitive function in aged APP/PS1 mice and wild type littermates. Glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity were similar in APP/PS1 mice and wild type controls, however IRS-1 pSer616 was increased in cortex and dentate gyrus of APP/PS1 mice. Recognition and spatial memory was impaired in both APP/PS1 and wild type mice, however learning impairments were apparent in APP/PS1 mice. Expression of GLP-1 receptor, ERK2, IKKβ, mTOR, PKCθ, NF-κB1 and TLR4 was similar between aged APP/PS1 mice and age-matched wild types. Compared to age-matched wild type mice, IFNγ and IL-4 were increased in brains of APP/PS1 mice. These results suggest that normal aging may be associated with enhanced neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and cognitive decline, however distinctions are apparent in the brain of APP/PS1 mice in terms of inflammation and insulin signaling and in certain cognitive domains. Demarcation of pathological events that distinguish AD from normal aging will allow for improvements in diagnostic tools and the development of more effective therapeutics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-434
Number of pages12
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Early online date29 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 May 2018


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cognitive function
  • Cytokines
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Insulin signalling
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Neuroinflammation


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