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Innate immunity stimulation via CpG oligodeoxynucleotides ameliorates Alzheimer's disease pathology in aged squirrel monkeys

Patel, Akash G; Nehete, Pramod N; Krivoshik, Sara R; Pei, Xuewei; Cho, Elizabeth L; Nehete, Bharti P; Ramani, Margish D; Shao, Yongzhao; Williams, Lawrence E; Wisniewski, Thomas; Scholtzova, Henrieta
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia and the only illness among the top 10 causes of death for which there is no disease-modifying therapy. The failure rate of clinical trials is very high, in part due to the premature translation of successful results in transgenic mouse models to patients. Extensive evidence suggests that dysregulation of innate immunity and microglia/macrophages plays a key role in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Activated resident microglia and peripheral macrophages can display protective or detrimental phenotypes depending on the stimulus and environment. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of innate immune regulators known to play an important role in governing the phenotypic status of microglia. We have shown in multiple transgenic Alzheimer's disease mouse models that harnessing innate immunity via TLR9 agonist CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) modulates age-related defects associated with immune cells and safely reduces amyloid plaques, oligomeric amyloid-β, tau pathology, and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) while promoting cognitive benefits. In the current study we have used a non-human primate model of sporadic Alzheimer's disease pathology that develops extensive CAA-elderly squirrel monkeys. The major complications in current immunotherapeutic trials for Alzheimer's disease are amyloid-related imaging abnormalities, which are linked to the presence and extent of CAA; hence, the prominence of CAA in elderly squirrel monkeys makes them a valuable model for studying the safety of the CpG ODN-based concept of immunomodulation. We demonstrate that long-term use of Class B CpG ODN 2006 induces a favourable degree of innate immunity stimulation without producing excessive or sustained inflammation, resulting in efficient amelioration of both CAA and tau Alzheimer's disease-related pathologies in association with behavioural improvements and in the absence of microhaemorrhages in aged elderly squirrel monkeys. CpG ODN 2006 has been well established in numerous human trials for a variety of diseases. The present evidence together with our earlier, extensive preclinical research, validates the beneficial therapeutic outcomes and safety of this innovative immunomodulatory approach, increasing the likelihood of CpG ODN therapeutic efficacy in future clinical trials.
PMID: 34128045
ISSN: 1460-2156
CID: 4911532

Short-Term Relocation Stress-Induced Hematological and Immunological Changes in Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis

Nehete, Pramod N; Nehete, Bharti P; Patel, Akash G; Chitta, Sriram; Scholtzova, Henrieta; Williams, Lawrence E
Nonhuman primates are frequently transported to a new location or temporarily relocated within their colony. Both transportation and relocation expose animals to new environments, causing them to undergo a stress response (before adapting). In our NHP colony, the mentioned situations are not infrequent for many reasons, including maintenance. The objective of this study was to determine whether abrupt changes consisting of relocation, housing, separation, and grouping could influence hematological and immunological parameters and thereby functional activity. The current study used squirrel monkeys as a model to investigate the stress-inducing effects of relocation within a facility, while animals acclimated to new situations (physical, housing). A detailed blood analysis revealed significant changes in lymphocytes, triglycerides, total protein, creatinine, and ALT. Flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood showed reduction in CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells and monocytes, while B cells and natural killer (NK) cells changed with relocation. Simultaneously, changes in functional activity of immune cells altered proliferative responses and as shown by ELISpot (IFN γ). Though the parameters studied are not affected as severely as those in animals transported by road or air, stress responses induced by intrafacility relocation are significant and worth consideration. Our findings indicate that squirrel monkeys mimic the features seen in humans exposed to social stressors and may serve an important model for understanding the mechanisms of stress-induced immune dysfunction in humans.
PMID: 34840989
ISSN: 2314-7156
CID: 5065402

Class C CpG Oligodeoxynucleotide Immunomodulatory Response in Aged Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri Boliviensis Boliviensis)

Nehete, Pramod N; Williams, Lawrence E; Chitta, Sriram; Nehete, Bharti P; Patel, Akash G; Ramani, Margish D; Wisniewski, Thomas; Scholtzova, Henrieta
One means of stimulating the mammalian innate immune system is via Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) being exposed to unmethylated cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) DNA, also known as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) of microbial origin. Synthetic CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) with defined CpG motifs possess broad immunostimulatory properties that make CpG ODNs suitable as therapeutic interventions in a variety of human disease conditions, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Rodent models are often used to preclinically test the effectiveness of CpG ODN therapeutic agents for AD and other disorders. However, the translatability of findings in such models is limited due to the significant difference of the expression of TLR9 between primates and rodents. The squirrel monkey (SQM), a New World non-human primate (NHP), is known to be phylogenetically proximate to humans, and develops extensive age-dependent cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), a key pathological feature of AD. Hence, this model is currently being used to test AD therapeutics. In the present study, we conducted the first examination of Class C CpG ODN's immunomodulatory role in elderly SQMs. We documented the effectiveness of CpG ODN to trigger an immune response in an aged cohort whose immune system is senescent. The specific immune response patterns detected here closely resembled CpG ODN-induced immunostimulatory patterns observed in prior human studies. Overall, our findings provide critical data regarding the immunomodulatory potential of CpG ODN in this NHP model, allowing for future translational studies of innate immunity stimulation via TLR9 agonists for diverse indications, including AD therapeutics.
PMID: 32194391
ISSN: 1663-4365
CID: 4353072

Clearance of interstitial fluid (ISF) and CSF (CLIC) group-part of Vascular Professional Interest Area (PIA): Cerebrovascular disease and the failure of elimination of Amyloid-β from the brain and retina with age and Alzheimer's disease-Opportunities for Therapy

Carare, Roxana O; Aldea, Roxana; Agarwal, Nivedita; Bacskai, Brian J; Bechman, Ingo; Boche, Delphine; Bu, Guojun; Bulters, Diederik; Clemens, Alt; Counts, Scott E; de Leon, Mony; Eide, Per K; Fossati, Silvia; Greenberg, Steven M; Hamel, Edith; Hawkes, Cheryl A; Koronyo-Hamaoui, Maya; Hainsworth, Atticus H; Holtzman, David; Ihara, Masafumi; Jefferson, Angela; Kalaria, Raj N; Kipps, Christopher M; Kanninen, Katja M; Leinonen, Ville; McLaurin, JoAnne; Miners, Scott; Malm, Tarja; Nicoll, James A R; Piazza, Fabrizio; Paul, Gesine; Rich, Steven M; Saito, Satoshi; Shih, Andy; Scholtzova, Henrieta; Snyder, Heather; Snyder, Peter; Thormodsson, Finnbogi Rutur; van Veluw, Susanne J; Weller, Roy O; Werring, David J; Wilcock, Donna; Wilson, Mark R; Zlokovic, Berislav V; Verma, Ajay
Two of the key functions of arteries in the brain are (1) the well-recognized supply of blood via the vascular lumen and (2) the emerging role for the arterial walls as routes for the elimination of interstitial fluid (ISF) and soluble metabolites, such as amyloid beta (Aβ), from the brain and retina. As the brain and retina possess no conventional lymphatic vessels, fluid drainage toward peripheral lymph nodes is mediated via transport along basement membranes in the walls of capillaries and arteries that form the intramural peri-arterial drainage (IPAD) system. IPAD tends to fail as arteries age but the mechanisms underlying the failure are unclear. In some people this is reflected in the accumulation of Aβ plaques in the brain in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and deposition of Aβ within artery walls as cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). Knowledge of the dynamics of IPAD and why it fails with age is essential for establishing diagnostic tests for the early stages of the disease and for devising therapies that promote the clearance of Aβ in the prevention and treatment of AD and CAA. This editorial is intended to introduce the rationale that has led to the establishment of the Clearance of Interstitial Fluid (ISF) and CSF (CLIC) group, within the Vascular Professional Interest Area of the Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment.
PMID: 32775596
ISSN: 2352-8729
CID: 4556022

White matter hyperintensities in vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID): Knowledge gaps and opportunities

Alber, Jessica; Alladi, Suvarna; Bae, Hee-Joon; Barton, David A; Beckett, Laurel A; Bell, Joanne M; Berman, Sara E; Biessels, Geert Jan; Black, Sandra E; Bos, Isabelle; Bowman, Gene L; Brai, Emanuele; Brickman, Adam M; Callahan, Brandy L; Corriveau, Roderick A; Fossati, Silvia; Gottesman, Rebecca F; Gustafson, Deborah R; Hachinski, Vladimir; Hayden, Kathleen M; Helman, Alex M; Hughes, Timothy M; Isaacs, Jeremy D; Jefferson, Angela L; Johnson, Sterling C; Kapasi, Alifiya; Kern, Silke; Kwon, Jay C; Kukolja, Juraj; Lee, Athene; Lockhart, Samuel N; Murray, Anne; Osborn, Katie E; Power, Melinda C; Price, Brittani R; Rhodius-Meester, Hanneke F M; Rondeau, Jacqueline A; Rosen, Allyson C; Rosene, Douglas L; Schneider, Julie A; Scholtzova, Henrieta; Shaaban, C Elizabeth; Silva, Narlon C B S; Snyder, Heather M; Swardfager, Walter; Troen, Aron M; van Veluw, Susanne J; Vemuri, Prashanthi; Wallin, Anders; Wellington, Cheryl; Wilcock, Donna M; Xie, Sharon Xiangwen; Hainsworth, Atticus H
White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) are frequently seen on brain magnetic resonance imaging scans of older people. Usually interpreted clinically as a surrogate for cerebral small vessel disease, WMHs are associated with increased likelihood of cognitive impairment and dementia (including Alzheimer's disease [AD]). WMHs are also seen in cognitively healthy people. In this collaboration of academic, clinical, and pharmaceutical industry perspectives, we identify outstanding questions about WMHs and their relation to cognition, dementia, and AD. What molecular and cellular changes underlie WMHs? What are the neuropathological correlates of WMHs? To what extent are demyelination and inflammation present? Is it helpful to subdivide into periventricular and subcortical WMHs? What do WMHs signify in people diagnosed with AD? What are the risk factors for developing WMHs? What preventive and therapeutic strategies target WMHs? Answering these questions will improve prevention and treatment of WMHs and dementia.
PMID: 31011621
ISSN: 2352-8737
CID: 3821472


Williams, L. E.; Scholtzova, H.
ISSN: 0275-2565
CID: 4270182

Potential Novel Approaches to Understand the Pathogenesis and Treat Alzheimer's Disease

Drummond, Eleanor; Goñi, Fernando; Liu, Shan; Prelli, Frances; Scholtzova, Henrieta; Wisniewski, Thomas
There is growing genetic and proteomic data highlighting the complexity of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Greater use of unbiased "omics" approaches is being increasingly recognized as essential for the future development of effective AD research, that need to better reflect the multiple distinct pathway abnormalities that can drive AD pathology. The track record of success in AD clinical trials thus far has been very poor. In part, this high failure rate has been related to the premature translation of highly successful results in animal models that mirror only limited aspects of AD pathology to humans. We highlight our recent efforts to increase use of human tissue to gain a better understanding of the AD pathogenesis subtype variety and to develop several distinct therapeutic approaches tailored to address this diversity. These therapeutic approaches include the blocking of the Aβ/apoE interaction, stimulation of innate immunity, and the simultaneous blocking of Aβ/tau oligomer toxicity. We believe that future successful therapeutic approaches will need to be combined to better reflect the complexity of the abnormal pathways triggered in AD pathogenesis.
PMID: 29562516
ISSN: 1875-8908
CID: 3001492

Cellular immune responses in peripheral blood lymphocytes of Giardia infected squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis) treated with Fenbendazole

Nehete, Pramod N; Wilkerson, Gregory; Nehete, Bharti P; Chitta, Sriram; Ruiz, Julio C; Scholtzova, Henrieta; Williams, Lawrence E; Abee, Christian R; Vanchiere, John A
Cellular immune responses were tested to determine the effect of fenbendazole on the function of lymphocytes from Bolivian squirrel monkeys (Samiri boliviensis boliviensis). Giardia-infected squirrel monkeys were treated with commercially available fenbendazole (FBZ)-medicated monkey chow. Immune responses were compared between historical controls (Giardia naïve, untreated with FBZ (control animals)) and Giardia-infected, FBZ-treated squirrel monkeys (study animals). Peripheral blood lymphocytes from study monkeys had significantly lower stimulation indices compared to control animals when cultured in vitro with concanavalin A (Con A) (p<0.0001), phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) (p<0.0001) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (p<0.0001). PBMCs were also analyzed for IFN-γ producing cells in response to stimulation with Con A, PHA, PWM, and LPS by the cytokine ELISPOT assay. Significantly higher responses to Con A- (p<0.0001), and PHA- (p<0.001) stimulated cultures from Giardia-infected and fenbendazole treated compared to controls. Flow cytometric analysis for expression of cell surface markers revealed a significant increase in B- and NKT-lymphocytes and significant decrease in CD14+CD16+ monocytes after FBZ treatment. Also, circulating plasma cytokines IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-12p40, IL-1β, IL-10, IL-13, IL-1ra, IL-6 and IL-4 were significantly decreased after FBZ treatment. Comparison of hematologic parameters between controls and FBZ-treated squirrel monkeys revealed significantly lower numbers of total leukocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, and eosinophils compared to controls. However, erythrocyte indices (red cell count, hemoglobin and hematocrit were significantly higher in FBZ-treated monkeys. Our findings suggest that fenbendazole treatment may alter sensitive immune and molecular measures of inflammation. Postponing the experimental use of squirrel monkeys until at least 6 weeks after FBZ treatment should be considered.
PMID: 30412580
ISSN: 1932-6203
CID: 3456362

Targeting Apolipoprotein E/Amyloid beta Binding by Peptoid CPO_Abeta17-21 P Ameliorates Alzheimer's Disease Related Pathology and Cognitive Decline

Liu, Shan; Park, Shinae; Allington, Grant; Prelli, Frances; Sun, Yanjie; Marta-Ariza, Mitchell; Scholtzova, Henrieta; Biswas, Goutam; Brown, Bernard; Verghese, Philip B; Mehta, Pankaj D; Kwon, Yong-Uk; Wisniewski, Thomas
Inheritance of the apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) genotype has been identified as the major genetic risk factor for late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). Studies have shown that apoE, apoE4 in particular, binds to amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides at residues 12-28 of Abeta and this binding modulates Abeta accumulation and disease progression. We have previously shown in several AD transgenic mice lines that blocking the apoE/Abeta interaction with Abeta12-28 P reduced Abeta and tau-related pathology, leading to cognitive improvements in treated AD mice. Recently, we have designed a small peptoid library derived from the Abeta12-28 P sequence to screen for new apoE/Abeta binding inhibitors with higher efficacy and safety. Peptoids are better drug candidates than peptides due to their inherently more favorable pharmacokinetic properties. One of the lead peptoid compounds, CPO_Abeta17-21 P, diminished the apoE/Abeta interaction and attenuated the apoE4 pro-fibrillogenic effects on Abeta aggregation in vitro as well as apoE4 potentiation of Abeta cytotoxicity. CPO_Abeta17-21 P reduced Abeta-related pathology coupled with cognitive improvements in an AD APP/PS1 transgenic mouse model. Our study suggests the non-toxic, non-fibrillogenic peptoid CPO_Abeta17-21 P has significant promise as a new AD therapeutic agent which targets the Abeta related apoE pathway, with improved efficacy and pharmacokinetic properties.
PMID: 28808293
ISSN: 2045-2322
CID: 2669172

Innate Immunity Stimulation via Toll-Like Receptor 9 Ameliorates Vascular Amyloid Pathology in Tg-SwDI Mice with Associated Cognitive Benefits

Scholtzova, Henrieta; Do, Eileen; Dhakal, Shleshma; Sun, Yanjie; Liu, Shan; Mehta, Pankaj D; Wisniewski, Thomas
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the presence of parenchymal amyloid-beta (Abeta) plaques, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and neurofibrillary tangles. Currently there are no effective treatments for AD. Immunotherapeutic approaches under development are hampered by complications related to ineffectual clearance of CAA. Genome-wide association studies have demonstrated the importance of microglia in AD pathogenesis. Microglia are the primary innate immune cells of the brain. Depending on their activation state and environment, microglia can be beneficial or detrimental. In our prior work, we showed that stimulation of innate immunity with Toll-like receptor 9 agonist, class B CpG (cytosine-phosphate-guanine) oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs), can reduce amyloid and tau pathologies without causing toxicity in Tg2576 and 3xTg-AD mouse models. However, these transgenic mice have relatively little CAA. In the current study, we evaluated the therapeutic profile of CpG ODN in a triple transgenic mouse model, Tg-SwDI, with abundant vascular amyloid, in association with low levels of parenchymal amyloid deposits. Peripheral administration of CpG ODN, both before and after the development of CAA, negated short-term memory deficits, as assessed by object-recognition tests, and was effective at improving spatial and working memory evaluated using a radial arm maze. These findings were associated with significant reductions of CAA pathology lacking adverse effects. Together, our extensive evidence suggests that this innovative immunomodulation may be a safe approach to ameliorate all hallmarks of AD pathology, supporting the potential clinical applicability of CpG ODN. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Recent genetic studies have underscored the emerging role of microglia in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Microglia lose their amyloid-beta-clearing capabilities with age and as AD progresses. Therefore, the ability to modulate microglia profiles offers a promising therapeutic avenue for reducing AD pathology. Current immunotherapeutic approaches have been limited by poor clearance of a core AD lesion, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). The present study used Tg-SwDI mice, which have extensive CAA. We found that stimulation of the innate immune system and microglia/macrophage activation via Toll-like receptor 9 using CpG (cytosine-phosphate-guanine) oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) leads to cognitive improvements and CAA reduction, without associated toxicity. Our data indicate that this novel concept of immunomodulation represents a safer method to reduce all aspects of AD pathology and provide essential information for potential clinical use of CpG ODN.
PMID: 28123027
ISSN: 1529-2401
CID: 2418552