Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Medical Sciences




This article was originally published as: Drummond, E., Martins, R. N., Handelsman, D., & Harvey, A. (2012). Altered expression of Alzheimer's disease-related proteins in male hypogonadal mice. Endocrinology, 153(6), 2789-2799. Original article available here


Age-related depletion of estrogens and androgens is associated with an increase in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain pathology and diminished cognitive function. Here we investigated AD-associated molecular and cellular changes in brains of aged hypogonadal (hpg) male and female mice. hpg Mice have a spontaneous, inactivating genetic mutation in the GnRH gene resulting in lifelong deficiency of gonadotropins and gonadal sex hormones. Western blot analysis revealed low levels of amyloid precursor protein and high levels of presenilin 1, amyloid precursor protein C-terminal fragment, and β-amyloid 42 in brains of aged male, but not female, hpg mice. Changes were confined to the hippocampus and were not evident in the cerebellum or other brain tissues. Male hpg mice tended to have lower levels of IL-1β protein than male littermate controls. Immunohistochemical staining of the basal forebrain revealed that male hpg mice had lower choline acetyltransferase levels per neuron compared with controls. These AD-like changes specific to male hpg mice supports a link between androgen depletion and the development of AD pathology.