Expression of Alzheimer-type neurofibrillary epitopes in primary rat cortical neurons following infection with Enterococcus faecalis

Robert Underly, Mee Sook Song, Gary L. Dunbar, Charles L. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The neurofibrillary tau pathology and amyloid deposits seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD) also have been seen in bacteria-infected brains. However, few studies have examined the role of these bacteria in the generation of tau pathology. One suggested link between infection and AD is edentulism, the complete loss of teeth. Edentulism can result from chronic periodontal disease due to infection by Enterococcus faecalis. The current study assessed the ability to generate early Alzheimer-like neurofibrillary epitopes in primary rat cortical neurons through bacterial infection by E. faecalis. Seven-day old cultured neurons were infected with E. faecalis for 24 and 48 h. An upward molecular weight shift in tau by Western blotting (WB) and increased appearance of tau reactivity in cell bodies and degenerating neurites was found in the 48 h infection group for the antibody CP13 (phospho-Serine 202). A substantial increase in reactivity of Alz-50 was seen at 24 and 48 h after infection. Furthermore, extensive microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) reactivity also was seen at 24 and 48 h post-infection. Our preliminary findings suggest a potential link between E. faecalis infection and intracellular changes that may help facilitate early AD-like neurofibrillary pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number259
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Volume7
Issue numberJAN
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Alz-50
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Chronic periodontitis
  • Edentulism
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Phosphorylation
  • Tau

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