Going beyond established model systems of Alzheimer’s disease: companion animals provide novel insights into the neurobiology of aging.

Alexandra A de Sousa, Brier A. Rigby Dames, Emily Graff, Christine Charvet, Rania Mohamedelhassan, Tatianna Vassilopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by brain plaques, tangles, and cognitive impairment. AD is one of the most common age-related dementias in humans. Progress in characterizing AD and other age-related disorders is hindered by a perceived dearth of animal models that naturally reproduce diseases observed in humans. Mice and nonhuman primates are model systems used to understand human diseases. Still, these model systems lack many of the biological characteristics of Alzheimer-like diseases (e.g., plaques, tangles) as they grow older. In contrast, companion animal models (cats and dogs) age in ways that resemble humans. Both companion animal models and humans show evidence of brain atrophy, plaques, and tangles, as well as cognitive decline with age. We embrace a One Health perspective, which recognizes that the health of humans is connected to those of animals, and we illustrate how such a perspective can work synergistically to enhance human and animal health. A comparative biology perspective is ideally suited to integrate insights across veterinary and human medical disciplines and solve long-standing problems in aging.
Original languageEnglish
Article number655
Number of pages16
JournalCommunications Biology
Volume6
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Data availability DatainFig.5arefromtheAnAgedatabase(https://genomics.senescence.info/species/ index.html).DatainFig.3weredownloadedfromNCBIavailable(https://pubmed.ncbi. nlm.nih.gov/).DatainFig.7arefromSupplementaryData2,3,andtheseareavailable onZenodo(https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7957575).



Funding Information:
Some illustrations were made by Ashely Moore, Javier Lazaro, and Valerie Doebley. Some illustrations were made with www.BioRender.com. Jessica Rogge made some figures. This work was supported by an INBRE pilot grant from NIGMS (P20GM103446) to [C.J.C], an R21 from NICHD (R21HD101964) to [C.J.C], and a COBRE NIH grant (5P20GM103653). These opinions are not necessarily those of the NIH. BARD’s research is supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), grant number EP/S023437/1 attached to the UKRI CDT in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent Artificial Intelligence. Some brain images are from the Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections (https://brainmuseum.org). The mouse brain image in Fig. 1 is from the Allen Brain reference Atlas (atlas.brain-map.org)251.

Funding Information:
Some illustrations were made by Ashely Moore, Javier Lazaro, and Valerie Doebley. Some illustrations were made with www.BioRender.com . Jessica Rogge made some figures. This work was supported by an INBRE pilot grant from NIGMS (P20GM103446) to [C.J.C], an R21 from NICHD (R21HD101964) to [C.J.C], and a COBRE NIH grant (5P20GM103653). These opinions are not necessarily those of the NIH. BARD’s research is supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), grant number EP/S023437/1 attached to the UKRI CDT in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent Artificial Intelligence. Some brain images are from the Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections ( https://brainmuseum.org ). The mouse brain image in Fig. 1 is from the Allen Brain reference Atlas ( atlas.brain-map.org ).

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