Tau pathology is characterized as a form of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) known as FTLD-tau. The underlying pathogenic mechanisms are not known and no therapeutic interventions are currently available. Here, we report that the neurotrophin receptor p75NTR plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of FTLD-tau. The expression of p75NTR and the precursor of nerve growth factor (proNGF) were increased in the brains of FTLD-tau patients and mice (P301L transgenic). ProNGF-induced tau phosphorylation via p75NTR in vitro, which was associated with the AKT/glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)3β pathway. Genetic reduction of p75NTR in P301L mice rescued the memory deficits, alleviated tau hyperphosphorylation and restored the activity of the AKT/GSK3β pathway. Treatment of the P301L mice with the soluble p75NTR extracellular domain (p75ECD-Fc), which can antagonize neurotoxic ligands of p75NTR, effectively improved memory behavior and suppressed tau pathology. This suggests that p75NTR plays a crucial role in tau paGSKthology and represents a potential druggable target for FTLD-tau and related tauopathies.
- Tau pathology
- ProNGF/p75NT pathway
- therapeutic targets
- frontotemporal lobar degeneration
- neurotrophin receptor (p75 NTR)