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Deficiency of Lipoprotein Lipase in Neurons Decreases AMPA Receptor Phosphorylation and Leads to Neurobehavioral Abnormalities in Mice


Alterations in lipid metabolism have been found in several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) hydrolyzes triacylglycerides in lipoproteins and regulates lipid metabolism in multiple organs and tissues, including the central nervous system (CNS). Though many brain regions express LPL, the functions of this lipase in the CNS remain largely unknown. We developed mice with neuron-specific LPL deficiency that became obese on chow by 16 wks in homozygous mutant mice (NEXLPL-/-) and 10 mo in heterozygous mice (NEXLPL+/-). In the present study, we show that 21 mo NEXLPL+/- mice display substantial cognitive function decline including poorer learning and memory, and increased anxiety with no difference in general motor activities and exploratory behavior. These neurobehavioral abnormalities are associated with a reduction in the 2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazol-4-yl) propanoic acid (AMPA) receptor subunit GluA1 and its phosphorylation, without any alterations in amyloid β accumulation. Importantly, a marked deficit in omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the hippocampus precedes the development of the neurobehavioral phenotype of NEXLPL+/- mice. And, a diet supplemented with n-3 PUFA can improve the learning and memory of NEXLPL+/- mice at both 10 mo and 21 mo of age. We interpret these findings to indicate that LPL regulates the availability of PUFA in the CNS and, this in turn, impacts the strength of synaptic plasticity in the brain of aging mice through the modification of AMPA receptor and its phosphorylation.

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