Immune-Mediated Platelet Depletion Augments Alzheimer’s Disease in Mice


“Our study suggests that platelets might contribute to limiting amyloid plaque size and neuronal damage, having a beneficial role in AD [Alzheimer’s disease].”

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BUFFALO, NY- February 15, 2023 – A new research paper was published on the cover of Aging (listed as "Aging (Albany NY)" by Medline/PubMed and "Aging-US" by Web of Science) Volume 15, Issue 3, entitled, “Immune-mediated platelet depletion augments Alzheimer’s disease neuropathological hallmarks in APP-PS1 mice.”

In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), platelets become dysfunctional and might contribute to amyloid beta deposition. In a recent study, researchers Diana M. Bessa de Sousa, Ariane Benedetti, Barbara Altendorfer, Heike Mrowetz, Michael S. Unger, Katharina Schallmoser, Ludwig Aigner, and Kathrin Maria Kniewallner from Paracelsus Medical University and Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration in Austria depleted platelets in one-year-old APP Swedish PS1 dE9 (APP-PS1) transgenic mice for five days, using intraperitoneal injections of an anti-CD42b antibody, and assessed changes in cerebral amyloidosis, plaque-associated neuritic dystrophy and gliosis. 

“The potential role of platelets in amyloid beta deposition led to the hypothesis that reducing platelet numbers might ameliorate AD pathology [30]. Here, we performed immune-mediated platelet depletion in APP-PS1 mice with an already fully developed amyloidosis and investigated its effects on classical hallmarks of AD: amyloid plaque pathology, plaque-associated neuritic dystrophy and gliosis.”

In APP-PS1 female mice, platelet depletion shifted amyloid plaque size distribution towards bigger plaques and increased neuritic dystrophy in the hippocampus. In platelet-depleted females, plaque-associated Iba1+ microglia had lower amounts of fibrillar amyloid beta cargo and GFAP+ astrocytic processes showed a higher overlap with thioflavin S+ amyloid plaques. In contrast to the popular hypothesis that platelets foster plaque pathology, data from this study suggest that platelets might limit plaque growth and attenuate plaque-related neuritic dystrophy at advanced stages of amyloid plaque pathology in APP-PS1 female mice. Whether the changes in amyloid plaque pathology are due to a direct effect on amyloid beta deposition or are a consequence of altered glial function needs to be further elucidated.

“In APP-PS1 females, acute thrombocytopenia aggravates AD neuropathology, suggesting that platelets might have a protective function in AD. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which platelets modulate amyloid plaque deposition remain elusive and need to be investigated in future experiments.”


Corresponding Author: Kathrin Maria Kniewallner - 

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, platelets, amyloid-beta, microglia, astrocytes

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About Aging-US:

Aging publishes research papers in all fields of aging research including but not limited, aging from yeast to mammals, cellular senescence, age-related diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s diseases and their prevention and treatment, anti-aging strategies and drug development and especially the role of signal transduction pathways such as mTOR in aging and potential approaches to modulate these signaling pathways to extend lifespan. The journal aims to promote treatment of age-related diseases by slowing down aging, validation of anti-aging drugs by treating age-related diseases, prevention of cancer by inhibiting aging. Cancer and COVID-19 are age-related diseases.

Aging is indexed by PubMed/Medline (abbreviated as “Aging (Albany NY)”), PubMed CentralWeb of Science: Science Citation Index Expanded (abbreviated as “Aging‐US” and listed in the Cell Biology and Geriatrics & Gerontology categories), Scopus (abbreviated as “Aging” and listed in the Cell Biology and Aging categories), Biological Abstracts, BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, META (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative) (2018-2022), and Dimensions (Digital Science).

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