Prenatal noise stress aggravates cognitive decline and the onset and progression of beta amyloid pathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

Zahra Jafari, Megan Okuma, Hadil Karem, Jogender Mehla, Bryan E. Kolb, Majid H. Mohajerani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Environmental distresses occurring during the sensitive periods of early life may exacerbate the vulnerability to develop physical and mental diseases in old age. Studies have shown the impact of prenatal stress (PS) on the endocrine development and reprogramming of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functions in association with cognitive development and susceptibility to neuropsychiatric diseases. Long-term exposure to glucocorticoids can damage the brain and intensify the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like neuropathological changes, especially in females. There is, however, less information as to the link between PS and the risk of developing AD pathology throughout the lifespan. In the present study, male and female APP NL-G-F/NL-G-F offspring of dams exposed to gestational noise stress were compared with the control offspring in corticosterone alternations, cognitive and motor performances, and the onset age and development of amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques across age. The hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, spatial learning, and Aβ development were sex specific, showing persistent high levels of stress and further memory loss in females than males, especially in PS mice. The Aβ deposition was started earlier, by 2–3 months, and exhibited a heightened progression in PS animals. The PS also created a long-lasting anxiety-like behavior and impairment in cognitive function and motor coordination. Our results suggested PS as a risk to exacerbate AD-like neuropathological changes during the lifespan, with higher susceptibility of females. The findings were discussed in line with the most likely mechanisms for the PS effects, that is, dysregulation of the neuroendocrine system and the placenta by the PS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-86
Number of pages21
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume77
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Aβ plaque
  • Cognitive decline
  • HPA axis
  • Motor impairment
  • noise
  • Prenatal stress
  • Prepulse inhibition

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