DOI: 10.1002/alz.076973 ISSN: 1552-5260

Aβ oligomers reduce neuronal plasticity in an aged animal model of Alzheimer’s disease

Bilal El Waly, Alexandre Henriques, Philippe Poindron, Noelle Callizot
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by the extracellular accumulation of senile plaques composed of beta‐amyloid (Aβ). Aβ oligomers (AβO) induce damage beginning with loss of synapses, followed by neurite network disorganization and neuronal death. The hippocampus is a cerebral structure and a major place of neuroplasticity and a key structure for memory processing and consolidation. Hippocampal atrophy is well documented in AD. Neuronal plasticity persists during ageing and could adaptative response to cognitive decline during ageing or dementia.

Alterations in adult neuronal plasticity and synaptic dysfunctions are detected in rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, early dysfunction in neural stem cell production and neuronal differentiation could be linked to reduced neuronal plasticity in AD.


In this study, to investigate the effect of age on neurogenesis, in young (12 weeks), aged and healthy (16 months) mice and in an in vivo model of AD, based on intra‐hippocampal injection of a AβO/protofibril preparation in aged (16 months) mice.

Proliferation of cells (BrdU, Ki67), differentiation (DCX) and maturation (NeuN) into neurons were studied in the dendate gyrus of mice. Activation of glial cells was also assessed by immunohistochemistry. In addition, cognitive performance of mice were assessed using the Y‐maze test (short‐term spatial memory) in the same animal.


Our results show a decrease in neurogenesis in aged mice compared to young mice. Injection of AβO in the CA1 area was also associated with decreased neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, neuroinflammation and to reduce performance in the Y‐maze test.

This reduction in neuroblast generation was revealed by a decrease in the number of BrdU(+), Ki67(+) and DCX(+) cells in the dentate gyrus.


We evidenced a decreased in neuronal plasticity in aging which is exacerbated in our in vivo model of AD and connected to cognitive decline.

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