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Keskin, Aylin D.; Kekus, Maja; Adelsberger, Helmuth; Neumann, Ulf; Shimshek, Derya R.; Song, Beomjong; Zott, Benedikt; Peng, Tingying; Förstl, Hans; Staufenbiel, Matthias; Nelken, Israel; Sakmann, Bert; Konnerth, Arthur; Busche, Marc Aurel (2017): BACE inhibition-dependent repair of Alzheimer's pathophysiology. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 114, No. 32: pp. 8631-8636
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Amyloid-beta (A beta) is thought to play an essential pathogenic role in Alzheimer's disease (AD). A key enzyme involved in the generation of A beta is the beta-secretase BACE, for which powerful inhibitors have been developed and are currently in use in human clinical trials. However, although BACE inhibition can reduce cerebral A beta levels, whether it also can ameliorate neural circuit and memory impairments remains unclear. Using histochemistry, in vivo Ca2+ imaging, and behavioral analyses in a mouse model of AD, we demonstrate that along with reducing prefibrillary A beta surrounding plaques, the inhibition of BACE activity can rescue neuronal hyperactivity, impaired long-range circuit function, and memory defects. The functional neuronal impairments reappeared after infusion of soluble A beta, mechanistically linking A beta pathology to neuronal and cognitive dysfunction. These data highlight the potential benefits of BACE inhibition for the effective treatment of a wide range of AD-like pathophysiological and cognitive impairments.