Preclinical Models Of Alzheimer's Disease: Relevance And Translational Validity.
Kevin Mullane, Michael Williams
Published 2019 · Medicine
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The only drugs currently approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) are four acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and the NMDA antagonist memantine. Apart from these drugs, which have minimal to no clinical benefit, the 40-year search for effective therapeutics to treat AD has resulted in a clinical failure rate of 100% not only for compounds that prevent brain amyloid deposition or remove existing amyloid plaques but also those acting by a variety of other putative disease-associated mechanisms. This indicates that the preclinical data generated from current AD targets to support the selection, optimization, and translation of new chemical entities (NCEs) and biologics to clinical trials is seriously compromised. While many of these failures reflect flawed hypotheses or a lack of adequate characterization of the preclinical pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic (PD/PK) properties of lead NCEs-including their bioavailability and toxicity-the conceptualization, validation, and interrogation of the current animal models of AD represent key limitations. The overwhelming majority of these AD models are transgenic, based on aspects of the amyloid hypothesis and the genetics of the familial form of the disease. As a result, these generally lack construct and predictive validity for the sporadic form of the human disease. The 170 or so transgenic models, perhaps the largest number ever focused on a single disease, use rodents, mainly mice, and in addition to amyloid also address aspects of tau causality with more complex multigene models including other presumed causative factors together with amyloid. This overview discusses the current animal models of AD in the context of both the controversies surrounding the causative role of amyloid in the disease and the need to develop validated models of cognitive function/dysfunction that more appropriately reflect the phenotype(s) of human aged-related dementias. © 2019 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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