The Francis Crick Institute
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Aging rather than aneuploidy affects monoamine neurotransmitters in brain regions of Down syndrome mouse models

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-08-12, 11:40 authored by Alain D Dekker, Yannick Vermeiren, Christelle Albac, Eva Lana-Elola, Sheona Watson-Scales, Dorota Gibbins, Tony Aerts, Debby Van Dam, Elizabeth MC Fisher, Victor LJ Tybulewicz, Marie-Claude Potier, Peter P De Deyn
Altered concentrations of monoamine neurotransmitters and metabolites have been repeatedly found in people with Down syndrome (DS, trisomy 21). Because of the limited availability of human post-mortem tissue, DS mouse models are of great interest to study these changes and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms. Although previous studies have shown the potential of Ts65Dn mice - the most widely used mouse model of DS - to model noradrenergic changes, a comprehensive monoaminergic characterization in multiple brain regions has not been performed so far. Here, we used RP-HPLC with electrochemical detection to quantify (nor)adrenergic (NA, adrenaline and MHPG), dopaminergic (DA, HVA and DOPAC), and serotonergic compounds (tryptophan, 5-HT and 5-HIAA) in ten regionally dissected brain regions of Ts65Dn mice, as well as in Dp1Tyb mice - a novel DS mouse model. Comparing young adult aneuploid mice (2.5-5.5months) with their euploid WT littermates did not reveal generalized monoaminergic dysregulation, indicating that the genetic overload in these mice barely affected the absolute concentrations at this age. Moreover, we studied the effect of aging in Ts65Dn mice: comparing aged animals (12-13months) with their younger counterparts revealed a large number of significant changes. In general, the (nor)adrenergic system appeared to be reduced, while serotonergic compounds were increased with aging. Dopaminergic alterations were less consistent. These overall patterns appeared to be relatively similar for Ts65Dn and WT mice, though more observed changes were regarded significant for WT mice. Similar human post-mortem studies are necessary to validate the monoaminergic construct validity of the Ts65Dn and Dp1Typ mouse models.