Empagliflozin reduces vascular damage and cognitive impairment in a mixed murine model of Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes
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Author/sHierro-Bujalance, Carmen; Infante-Garcia, Carmen; del Marco, Angel; Herrera, Marta; Carranza-Naval, María José; Suarez, Javier; Alves-Martinez, Pilar; Lubian-Lopez, Simon; Garcia-Alloza, Monica
DepartmentBiomedicina, Biotecnología y Salud Pública; Materno-Infantil y Radiología
SourceAlzheimer's Research & Therapy (2020) 12:40
Background Both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) share common pathological features including inflammation, insulin signaling alterations, or vascular damage. AD has no successful treatment, and the close relationship between both diseases supports the study of antidiabetic drugs to limit or slow down brain pathology in AD. Empagliflozin (EMP) is a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor, the newest class of antidiabetic agents. EMP controls hyperglycemia and reduces cardiovascular comorbidities and deaths associated to T2D. Therefore, we have analyzed the role of EMP at the central level in a complex mouse model of AD-T2D. Methods We have treated AD-T2D mice (APP/PS1xdb/db mice) with EMP 10 mg/kg for 22 weeks. Glucose, insulin, and body weight were monthly assessed. We analyzed learning and memory in the Morris water maze and the new object discrimination test. Postmortem brain assessment was conducted to measure brain atrophy, senile plaques, and amyloid-beta levels. Tau phosphorylation, hemorrhage burden, and microglia were also measured in the brain after EMP treatment. Results EMP treatment helped to maintain insulin levels in diabetic mice. At the central level, EMP limited cortical thinning and reduced neuronal loss in treated mice. Hemorrhage and microglia burdens were also reduced in EMP-treated mice. Senile plaque burden was lower, and these effects were accompanied by an amelioration of cognitive deficits in APP/PS1xdb/db mice. Conclusions Altogether, our data support a feasible role for EMP to reduce brain complications associated to AD and T2D, including classical pathological features and vascular disease, and supporting further assessment of EMP at the central level.