Tau protein is of primary importance for neuronal homeostasis and when hyperphosphorylated (PP-Tau), it tends to aggregate in neurofibrillary tangles, as is the case with tauopathies, a class of neurodegenerative disorders. Reversible PP-Tau accumulation occurs in the brain of hibernating rodents and it was recently observed in rats (a non-hibernator) during synthetic torpor (ST), a pharmacological-induced torpor-like condition. To date, the expression of PP-Tau in the rat enteric nervous system (ENS) is still unknown. The present study immunohistochemically investigates the PP-Tau expression in the myenteric plexus of the ileum and colon of normothermic rats (CTRL) and during ST, focusing on the two major subclasses of enteric neurons, i.e., cholinergic and nitrergic. Results showed that both groups of rats expressed PP-Tau, with a significantly increased percentage of PP-Tau immunoreactive (IR) neurons in ST vs. CTRL. In all rats, the majority of PP-Tau-IR neurons were cholinergic. In ST rats, the percentage of PP-Tau-IR neurons expressing a nitrergic phenotype increased, although with no significant differences between groups. In addition, the ileum of ST rats showed a significant decrease in the percentage of nitrergic neurons. In conclusion, our findings suggest an adaptive response of ENS to very low core body temperatures, with changes involving PP-tau expression in enteric neurons, especially the ileal nitrergic subpopulation. In addition, the high presence of PP-Tau in cholinergic neurons, specifically, is very interesting and deserves further investigation. Altogether, these data strengthen the hypothesis of a common cellular mechanism triggered by ST, natural hibernation and tauopathies occurring in ENS neurons.

Phosphorylated Tau protein in the myenteric plexus of the ileum and colon of normothermic rats and during synthetic torpor

Chiocchetti R.
;
Hitrec T.;Giancola F.;Squarcio F.;Galiazzo G.;Piscitiello E.;De Silva M.;Cerri M.;Amici R.;Luppi M.
2021

Abstract

Tau protein is of primary importance for neuronal homeostasis and when hyperphosphorylated (PP-Tau), it tends to aggregate in neurofibrillary tangles, as is the case with tauopathies, a class of neurodegenerative disorders. Reversible PP-Tau accumulation occurs in the brain of hibernating rodents and it was recently observed in rats (a non-hibernator) during synthetic torpor (ST), a pharmacological-induced torpor-like condition. To date, the expression of PP-Tau in the rat enteric nervous system (ENS) is still unknown. The present study immunohistochemically investigates the PP-Tau expression in the myenteric plexus of the ileum and colon of normothermic rats (CTRL) and during ST, focusing on the two major subclasses of enteric neurons, i.e., cholinergic and nitrergic. Results showed that both groups of rats expressed PP-Tau, with a significantly increased percentage of PP-Tau immunoreactive (IR) neurons in ST vs. CTRL. In all rats, the majority of PP-Tau-IR neurons were cholinergic. In ST rats, the percentage of PP-Tau-IR neurons expressing a nitrergic phenotype increased, although with no significant differences between groups. In addition, the ileum of ST rats showed a significant decrease in the percentage of nitrergic neurons. In conclusion, our findings suggest an adaptive response of ENS to very low core body temperatures, with changes involving PP-tau expression in enteric neurons, especially the ileal nitrergic subpopulation. In addition, the high presence of PP-Tau in cholinergic neurons, specifically, is very interesting and deserves further investigation. Altogether, these data strengthen the hypothesis of a common cellular mechanism triggered by ST, natural hibernation and tauopathies occurring in ENS neurons.
2021
Chiocchetti R.; Hitrec T.; Giancola F.; Sadeghinezhad J.; Squarcio F.; Galiazzo G.; Piscitiello E.; De Silva M.; Cerri M.; Amici R.; Luppi M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/854584
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