GH Deficiency Confers Protective Advantages Against Alzheimer’s Disease Through Rescued miRNA Expression Profile in APP/PS1 Mice

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Springer Cham

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, affecting approximately 6.5 million Americans age 65 or older. AD is characterized by increased cognitive impairment and treatment options available provide minimal disease attenuation. Additionally, diagnostic methods for AD are not conclusive with definitive diagnoses requiring postmortem brain evaluations. Therefore, miRNAs, a class of small, non-coding RNAs, have garnered attention for their ability to regulate a variety of mRNAs and their potential to serve as both therapeutic targets and biomarkers of AD. Several miRNAs have already been implicated with AD and have been found to directly target genes associated with AD pathology. The APP/PS1 mice is an AD model that expresses the human mutated form of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin-1 (PS1) genes. In a previous study, it was identified that crossing long-living growth hormone (GH)-deficient Ames dwarf (df/df) mice with APP/PS1 mice provided protection from AD through a reduction in IGF-1, amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition, and gliosis. Hence, we hypothesized that changes in the expression of miRNAs associated with AD mediated such benefits. To test this hypothesis, we sequenced miRNAs in hippocampi of df/df, wild type (+ / +), df/ + /APP/PS1 (phenotypically normal APP/PS1), and df/df/APP/PS1 mice. Results of this study demonstrated significantly upregulated and downregulated miRNAs between df/df/APP/PS1 and df/ + /APP/PS1 mice that suggest the df/df mutation provides protection from AD progression. Additionally, changes in miRNA expression with age were identified in both df/df and wild-type mice as well as df/df/APP/PS1 and APP/PS1 mice, with predictive functional roles in the Pi3k-AKT/mTOR/FOXO pathways potentially contributing to disease pathogenesis.