The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is mediated by a combination of genetics and environmental factors, such as stress, sleep abnormalities and traumatic brain injury. Women are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than men, even when controlling for differences in lifespan. Women are also more likely to report high levels of stress than men. Sex differences in response to stress may play a role in the increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in women. In this study, we use in vivo microdialysis to measure levels of Aβ in response to acute stress in male and female mice. We show that Aβ levels are altered differently between female and male mice (APP/PS1 and wild-type) in response to stress, with females showing significantly increased levels of Aβ while most males do not show a significant change. This response is mediated through β-arrestin involvement in Corticotrophin Releasing Factor receptor signalling pathway differences in male and female mice as male mice lacking β-arrestin show increase in Aβ in response to stress similar to females.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- corticotropin releasing factor
- sexual dimorphism