Abnormal aggregation of tau is the pathological hallmark of tauopathies including frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We have generated tau-transgenic mice that express the aggregation-prone P301S human tau (line 66). These mice present with early-onset, high tau load in brain and FTD-like behavioural deficiencies. Several of these behavioural phenotypes and tau pathology are reversed by treatment with hydromethylthionine but key pathways underlying these corrections remain elusive. In two proteomic experiments, line 66 mice were compared with wild-type mice and then vehicle and hydromethylthionine treatments of line 66 mice were compared. The brain proteome was investigated using two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry to identify protein networks and pathways that were altered due to tau overexpression or modified by hydromethylthionine treatment. Overexpression of mutant tau induced metabolic/mitochondrial dysfunction, changes in synaptic transmission and in stress responses, and these functions were recovered by hydromethylthionine. Other pathways, such as NRF2, oxidative phosphorylation and protein ubiquitination were activated by hydromethylthionine, presumably independent of its function as a tau aggregation inhibitor. Our results suggest that hydromethylthionine recovers cellular activity in both a tau-dependent and a tau-independent fashion that could lead to a wide-spread improvement of homeostatic function in the FTD brain.
Bibliographical noteFunding: This research received no external funding.
Acknowledgments: The authors acknowledge Boris Neumann and Karola Lehmann for the excellent support with the proteomics data.
Data Availability StatementAll data are provided within the manuscript of the Supplementary figures/tables and the Supporting Information.
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Mouse model
- Tau protein