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Serotoninergic activation which decreases brain Aβ peptides is considered beneficial in mouse models for Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the mechanisms involved remain unclear. Because growing evidence suggested that the stimulation of proteases digesting Aβ, especially the endopeptidase neprilysin (NEP) may be effective for AD therapy/prevention, we explored the involvement of serotonin precursors and derivatives in NEP regulation. We found that 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA), the final metabolite of serotonin, considered until now as a dead-end and inactive product of serotonin catabolism, significantly reduces brain Aβ in the transgenic APPSWE mouse model for AD-related Aβ pathology and in the phosphoramidon-induced cerebral NEP inhibition mouse model. 5-HIAA treatment improves memory performance in APPSWE mice. Furthermore, 5-HIAA and its precursors increase NEP level in vivo and in neuroblastoma cells. Inhibition of ERK 1/2 cascade by 5-HIAA or SCH772984 enhanced NEP levels, suggesting MAP-kinase pathway involvement in 5-HIAA-induced regulation of NEP expression. Our results provide the first demonstration that 5-HIAA is an active serotonin metabolite that increases brain Aβ degradation/clearance and improves symptoms in the APPSWE mouse model for AD.
Klein, C., Roussel, G., Brun, S., Rusu, C., Patte-Mensah, C., Maitre, M., & Mensah-Nyagan, A. G. (2018). 5-HIAA induces neprilysin to ameliorate pathophysiology and symptoms in a mouse model for Alzheimer’s disease. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 6(1), 136. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40478-018-0640-z