Research Paper Volume 9, Issue 5 pp 1386—1403

Transgenic autoinhibition of p21-activated kinase exacerbates synaptic impairments and fronto-dependent behavioral deficits in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease

Figure 3. Abnormal dendritic and spine morphologies in 3xTg-AD-dnPAK prefrontal cortex. (A) Examples of reconstructed layer II/III prefrontal pyramidal neurons from NonTg, 3xTg-AD and 3xTg-AD-dnPAK animals. (B) Sholl analysis of the dendritic length revealed a significant reduction in dendritic arborization 3xTg-AD-dnPAK pyramidal cells. (C) Spine density in dendrites of layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex was significantly lower in 3xTg-AD-dnPAK animals. The decrease in spine density was more pronounced in intermediate (60-100 µm from cell body) and distal dendrite segments (110-160 µm), but not significantly different in proximal (10-60 µm) segments. (D) Inhibition of PAK activity potentiated the lengthening of spines observed in 3xTg-AD cells when compared with NonTg. # p<0.05 when compared to 3xTg-AD cells, # p<0.05, ## p<0.001 when compared to NonTg cells, one-way ANOVA, Fisher LSD post hoc test. Abbreviations: ROD, relative optical density.