Publication Date



Molecular Neurodegeneration


BACKGROUND: Tau is aberrantly acetylated in various neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Previously, we reported that reducing acetylated tau by pharmacologically inhibiting p300-mediated tau acetylation at lysine 174 reduces tau pathology and improves cognitive function in animal models.

METHODS: We investigated the therapeutic efficacy of two different antibodies that specifically target acetylated lysine 174 on tau (ac-tauK174). We treated PS19 mice, which harbor the P301S tauopathy mutation that causes FTLD, with anti-ac-tauK174 and measured effects on tau pathology, neurodegeneration, and neurobehavioral outcomes. Furthermore, PS19 mice received treatment post-TBI to evaluate the ability of the immunotherapy to prevent TBI-induced exacerbation of tauopathy phenotypes. Ac-tauK174 measurements in human plasma following TBI were also collected to establish a link between trauma and acetylated tau levels, and single nuclei RNA-sequencing of post-TBI brain tissues from treated mice provided insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the observed treatment effects.

RESULTS: Anti-ac-tauK174 treatment mitigates neurobehavioral impairment and reduces tau pathology in PS19 mice. Ac-tauK174 increases significantly in human plasma 24 h after TBI, and anti-ac-tauK174 treatment of PS19 mice blocked TBI-induced neurodegeneration and preserved memory functions. Anti-ac-tauK174 treatment rescues alterations of microglial and oligodendrocyte transcriptomic states following TBI in PS19 mice.

CONCLUSIONS: The ability of anti-ac-tauK174 treatment to rescue neurobehavioral impairment, reduce tau pathology, and rescue glial responses demonstrates that targeting tau acetylation at K174 is a promising neuroprotective therapeutic approach to human tauopathies resulting from TBI or genetic disease.


Animals, Tauopathies, tau Proteins, Mice, Acetylation, Humans, Disease Models, Animal, Mice, Transgenic, Brain Injuries, Traumatic, Brain Injuries, Brain, Neuroprotective Agents, Immunotherapy, Acetylated tau, Tauopathy, TBI, Human plasma

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Neurosurgery Commons



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