Publications by authors named "Karin Wind"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Microglial activation in the right amygdala-entorhinal-hippocampal complex is associated with preserved spatial learning in App mice.

Neuroimage 2020 Dec 29;230:117707. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital of Munich, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany; Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy), Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: In Alzheimer`s disease (AD), regional heterogeneity of β-amyloid burden and microglial activation of individual patients is a well-known phenomenon. Recently, we described a high incidence of inter-individual regional heterogeneity in terms of asymmetry of plaque burden and microglial activation in β-amyloid mouse models of AD as assessed by positron-emission-tomography (PET). We now investigate the regional associations between amyloid plaque burden, microglial activation, and impaired spatial learning performance in transgenic mice in vivo.

Methods: In 30 App mice (15 female, 15 male) we acquired cross-sectional 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO-PET, F-GE-180) and β-amyloid-PET (F-florbetaben) scans at ten months of age. Control data were obtained from age- and sex-matched C57BI/6 wild-type mice. We assessed spatial learning (i.e. Morris water maze) within two weeks of PET scanning and correlated the principal component of spatial learning performance scores with voxel-wise β-amyloid and TSPO tracer uptake maps in App mice, controlled for age and sex. In order to assess the effects of hemispheric asymmetry, we also analyzed correlations of spatial learning performance with tracer uptake in bilateral regions of interest for frontal cortex, entorhinal/piriform cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus, using a regression model. We tested the correlation between regional asymmetry of PET biomarkers with individual spatial learning performance.

Results: Voxel-wise analyses in App mice revealed that higher TSPO-PET signal in the amygdala, entorhinal and piriform cortices, the hippocampus and the hypothalamus correlated with spatial learning performance. Region-based analysis showed significant correlations between TSPO expression in the right entorhinal/piriform cortex and the right amygdala and spatial learning performance, whereas there were no such correlations in the left hemisphere. Right lateralized TSPO expression in the amygdala predicted better performance in the Morris water maze (β = -0.470, p = 0.013), irrespective of the global microglial activation and amyloid level. Region-based results for amyloid-PET showed no significant associations with spatial learning.

Conclusion: Elevated microglial activation in the right amygdala-entorhinal-hippocampal complex of App mice is associated with better spatial learning. Our findings support a protective role of microglia on cognitive function when they highly express TSPO in specific brain regions involved in spatial memory.
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December 2020

Loss of TMEM106B potentiates lysosomal and FTLD-like pathology in progranulin-deficient mice.

EMBO Rep 2020 10 14;21(10):e50241. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Metabolic Biochemistry, Biomedical Center (BMC), Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TMEM106B encoding the lysosomal type II transmembrane protein 106B increase the risk for frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) of GRN (progranulin gene) mutation carriers. Currently, it is unclear if progranulin (PGRN) and TMEM106B are synergistically linked and if a gain or a loss of function of TMEM106B is responsible for the increased disease risk of patients with GRN haploinsufficiency. We therefore compare behavioral abnormalities, gene expression patterns, lysosomal activity, and TDP-43 pathology in single and double knockout animals. Grn /Tmem106b mice show a strongly reduced life span and massive motor deficits. Gene expression analysis reveals an upregulation of molecular signature characteristic for disease-associated microglia and autophagy. Dysregulation of maturation of lysosomal proteins as well as an accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins and widespread p62 deposition suggest that proteostasis is impaired. Moreover, while single Grn knockouts only occasionally show TDP-43 pathology, the double knockout mice exhibit deposition of phosphorylated TDP-43. Thus, a loss of function of TMEM106B may enhance the risk for GRN-associated FTLD by reduced protein turnover in the lysosomal/autophagic system.
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October 2020

Longitudinal TSPO expression in tau transgenic P301S mice predicts increased tau accumulation and deteriorated spatial learning.

J Neuroinflammation 2020 Jul 13;17(1):208. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital of Munich, LMU Munich, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Background: P301S tau transgenic mice show age-dependent accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles in the brainstem, hippocampus, and neocortex, leading to neuronal loss and cognitive deterioration. However, there is hitherto only sparse documentation of the role of neuroinflammation in tau mouse models. Thus, we analyzed longitudinal microglial activation by small animal 18 kDa translocator protein positron-emission-tomography (TSPO μPET) imaging in vivo, in conjunction with terminal assessment of tau pathology, spatial learning, and cerebral glucose metabolism.

Methods: Transgenic P301S (n = 33) and wild-type (n = 18) female mice were imaged by F-GE-180 TSPO μPET at the ages of 1.9, 3.9, and 6.4 months. We conducted behavioral testing in the Morris water maze, F-fluordesoxyglucose (F-FDG) μPET, and AT8 tau immunohistochemistry at 6.3-6.7 months. Terminal microglial immunohistochemistry served for validation of TSPO μPET results in vivo, applying target regions in the brainstem, cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus. We compared the results with our historical data in amyloid-β mouse models.

Results: TSPO expression in all target regions of P301S mice increased exponentially from 1.9 to 6.4 months, leading to significant differences in the contrasts with wild-type mice at 6.4 months (+ 11-23%, all p < 0.001), but the apparent microgliosis proceeded more slowly than in our experience in amyloid-β mouse models. Spatial learning and glucose metabolism of AT8-positive P301S mice were significantly impaired at 6.3-6.5 months compared to the wild-type group. Longitudinal increases in TSPO expression predicted greater tau accumulation and lesser spatial learning performance at 6.3-6.7 months.

Conclusions: Monitoring of TSPO expression as a surrogate of microglial activation in P301S tau transgenic mice by μPET indicates a delayed time course when compared to amyloid-β mouse models. Detrimental associations of microglial activation with outcome parameters are opposite to earlier data in amyloid-β mouse models. The contribution of microglial response to pathology accompanying amyloid-β and tau over-expression merits further investigation.
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July 2020

A Living Biobank of Breast Cancer Organoids Captures Disease Heterogeneity.

Cell 2018 01 7;172(1-2):373-386.e10. Epub 2017 Dec 7.

Hubrecht Institute, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and University Medical Center Utrecht, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT Utrecht, the Netherlands; Cancer Genomics Netherlands, Oncode Institute, 3584 CG Utrecht, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Breast cancer (BC) comprises multiple distinct subtypes that differ genetically, pathologically, and clinically. Here, we describe a robust protocol for long-term culturing of human mammary epithelial organoids. Using this protocol, >100 primary and metastatic BC organoid lines were generated, broadly recapitulating the diversity of the disease. BC organoid morphologies typically matched the histopathology, hormone receptor status, and HER2 status of the original tumor. DNA copy number variations as well as sequence changes were consistent within tumor-organoid pairs and largely retained even after extended passaging. BC organoids furthermore populated all major gene-expression-based classification groups and allowed in vitro drug screens that were consistent with in vivo xeno-transplantations and patient response. This study describes a representative collection of well-characterized BC organoids available for cancer research and drug development, as well as a strategy to assess in vitro drug response in a personalized fashion.
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January 2018