Age-related reduction in brain ACE-2 is not exacerbated by Alzheimer's disease pathology in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease

Rob A Maclachlan, Charles Evans, SY Chai, Mark Good, Patrick Gavin Kehoe, J S Miners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

49 Downloads (Pure)


An imbalance in the circulatory and organ-specific renin-angiotensin system (RAS) pathways is associated with age-related dysfunction and disease including cardiovascular burden and more recently Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It is currently unclear whether an age-associated imbalance in components of the RAS within the brain precedes the onset of AD or whether a RAS imbalance is associated with the onset of disease pathology and cognitive decline.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme-1 (ACE-1) and -2 (ACE-2) protein (ELISA) and enzyme activity (FRET assay), markers of the classical and counter-regulatory RAS axis respectively, and Ang-II and Ang-(1–7) peptide levels (ELISA), were measured in the left cortex across four transgenic AD mouse models of amyloid pathology (5xFAD – 2, 6, and 12 months of age; Apd9 – 3-4, 12, and 18 months of age; Tg2576 – 3-4 and 24 months of age; and PDAPP – 3-4, 7, 11, 15, and 18 months of age) and littermate wild-type (WT) controls.

ACE-1 level, and enzyme activity, was unaltered in relation to age in WT mice and across all four models. In contrast, ACE-2 level and enzyme activity, was reduced and Ang-II increased with ageing in both WT animals and disease models. The changes in ACE-2 and Ang-II in AD models mirrored WT mice, except for the 5xFAD model, when the reduction in ACE-2 (and elevated Ang-II) was observed at a younger age.

These data indicate an age-related dysregulation of brain RAS is likely to be driven by a reduction in ACE-2. The reduction in ACE-2 occurs at a young age, coinciding with early pathological changes and the initial deposition of Aβ, and preceding neuronal loss and cognitive decline, in the transgenic AD models. However, the age-related loss was mirrored in WT mice suggesting that the change was independent of pathological Aβ deposition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100062
JournalAging Brain
Early online date28 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

Structured keywords

  • Dementia Research Group


Dive into the research topics of 'Age-related reduction in brain ACE-2 is not exacerbated by Alzheimer's disease pathology in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this