Reduced IGF-1 Signaling Delays Age-Associated Proteotoxicity in Mice

Ehud Cohen, Johan F. Paulsson, Pablo Blinder, Tal Burstyn-Cohen, Deguo Du, Gabriela Estepa, Anthony Adame, Hang M. Pham, Martin Holzenberger, Jeffery W. Kelly, Eliezer Masliah, Andrew Dillin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

399 Scopus citations


The insulin/insulin growth factor (IGF) signaling (IIS) pathway is a key regulator of aging of worms, flies, mice, and likely humans. Delayed aging by IIS reduction protects the nematode C. elegans from toxicity associated with the aggregation of the Alzheimer's disease-linked human peptide, Aβ. We reduced IGF signaling in Alzheimer's model mice and discovered that these animals are protected from Alzheimer's-like disease symptoms, including reduced behavioral impairment, neuroinflammation, and neuronal loss. This protection is correlated with the hyperaggregation of Aβ leading to tightly packed, ordered plaques, suggesting that one aspect of the protection conferred by reduced IGF signaling is the sequestration of soluble Aβ oligomers into dense aggregates of lower toxicity. These findings indicate that the IGF signaling-regulated mechanism that protects from Aβ toxicity is conserved from worms to mammals and point to the modulation of this signaling pathway as a promising strategy for the development of Alzheimer's disease therapy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1157-1169
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Hyun-Eui Kim for expert assistance with size-exclusion chromatography and Dr. Gustavo Dziewczapolski for assistance with behavioral assay. We thank the McKnight Foundation (A.D.) and NIA P01 AG031097 (A.D., J.W.K., E.M.) for funding. E.C. and A.D. designed and initiated this study. E.C. crossed the mouse strains and performed the behavioral assays, quantitative PCR, ELISA, size exclusion, and WB experiments. T.B.C. performed IHC assays. Immunoelectron microscopy was carried out by J.F.P. D.D. executed in vitro kinetic aggregation assays. P.B. performed image processing of the EM data. A.A. assisted with IHC. G.E. assisted with mice genotyping and behavioral assays. H.M.P. assisted with WB. M.H. provided Igf1r +/− mice and expertise pertinent to Igf1r. E.C., A.D., J.W.K., and E.M. wrote the manuscript. A.D. and J.W.K. are founders of Proteostasis Therepeutics Inc. and disclose no conflict of interest in this study.




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