Intrahippocampal administration of amyloid-β(1-42) oligomers acutely impairs spatial working memory, insulin signaling, and hippocampal metabolism.J Alzheimers Dis 2012; 30(2):413-22JA
Increasing evidence suggests that abnormal brain accumulation of amyloid-β(1-42) (Aβ(1-42)) oligomers plays a causal role in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and in particular may cause the cognitive deficits that are the hallmark of AD. In vitro, Aβ(1-42) oligomers impair insulin signaling and suppress neural functioning. We previously showed that endogenous insulin signaling is an obligatory component of normal hippocampal function, and that disrupting this signaling led to a rapid impairment of spatial working memory, while delivery of exogenous insulin to the hippocampus enhanced both memory and metabolism; diet-induced insulin resistance both impaired spatial memory and prevented insulin from increasing metabolism or cognitive function. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that Aβ(1-42) oligomers could acutely impair hippocampal metabolic and cognitive processes in vivo in the rat. Our findings support this hypothesis: Aβ(1-42) oligomers impaired spontaneous alternation behavior while preventing the task-associated dip in hippocampal ECF glucose observed in control animals. In addition, Aβ(1-42) oligomers decreased plasma membrane translocation of the insulin-sensitive glucose transporter 4 (GluT4), and impaired insulin signaling as measured by phosphorylation of Akt. These data show in vivo that Aβ(1-42) oligomers can rapidly impair hippocampal cognitive and metabolic processes, and provide support for the hypothesis that elevated Aβ(1-42) leads to cognitive impairment via interference with hippocampal insulin signaling.