Autophagy agonists have been proposed to slow down neurodegeneration. Spermidine, a polyamine that acts as an autophagy agonist, is currently under clinical trial for the treatment of age-related memory decline. How Spermidine and other autophagy agonists regulate memory and synaptic plasticity is under investigation. We set up a novel mouse model of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), in which middle-aged (12-month-old) mice exhibit impaired memory capacity, lysosomes engulfed with amyloid fibrils (β-amyloid and α-synuclein) and impaired task-induced GluA1 hippocampal post-translation modifications. Subchronic treatment with Spermidine as well as the autophagy agonist TAT-Beclin 1 rescued memory capacity and GluA1 post-translational modifications by favouring the autophagy/lysosomal-mediated degradation of amyloid fibrils. These findings provide new mechanistic evidence on the therapeutic relevance of autophagy enhancers which, by improving the degradation of misfolded proteins, slow down age-related memory decline.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)