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Stimulation of the Hippocampal POMC/MC4R Circuit Alleviates Synaptic Plasticity Impairment in an Alzheimer's Disease Model



Stimulation of the Hippocampal POMC/MC4R Circuit Alleviates Synaptic Plasticity Impairment in an Alzheimer's Disease Model



Cell Reports 17(7): 1819-1831



Hippocampal synaptic plasticity is modulated by neuropeptides, the disruption of which might contribute to cognitive deficits observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived neuropeptides and melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) are implicated in hippocampus-dependent synaptic plasticity, how the POMC/MC4R system functions in the hippocampus and its role in synaptic dysfunction in AD are largely unknown. Here, we mapped a functional POMC circuit in the mouse hippocampus, wherein POMC neurons in the cornu ammonis 3 (CA3) activate MC4R in the CA1. Suppression of hippocampal MC4R activity in the APP/PS1 transgenic mouse model of AD exacerbates long-term potentiation impairment, which is alleviated by the replenishment of hippocampal POMC/MC4R activity or activation of hippocampal MC4R-coupled Gs signaling. Importantly, MC4R activation rescues amyloid-β-induced synaptic dysfunction via a Gs/cyclic AMP (cAMP)/PKA/cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB)-dependent mechanism. Hence, disruption of this hippocampal POMC/MC4R circuit might contribute to synaptic dysfunction observed in AD, revealing a potential therapeutic target for the disease.

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Accession: 058905979

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PMID: 27829153

DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.10.043


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