Current approaches in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is focused on early stages of cognitive decline. Identifying therapeutic targets that promote synaptic resilience during early stages may prevent progressive memory deficits by preserving memory mechanisms. We recently reported that the inducible isoform of phospholipase D (PLD1) was significantly increased in synaptosomes from post-mortem AD brains compared to age-matched controls. Using mouse models, we reported that the aberrantly elevated neuronal PLD1 is key for oligomeric amyloid driven synaptic dysfunction and underlying memory deficits. Here, we demonstrate that chronic inhibition using a well-tolerated PLD1 specific small molecule inhibitor is sufficient to prevent the progression of synaptic dysfunction during early stages in the 3xTg-AD mouse model. Firstly, we report prevention of cognitive decline in the inhibitor-treated group using novel object recognition (NOR) and fear conditioning (FC). Secondly, we provide electrophysiological assessment of better synaptic function in the inhibitor-treated group. Lastly, using Golgi staining, we report that preservation of dendritic spine integrity as one of the mechanisms underlying the action of the small molecule inhibitor. Collectively, these studies provide evidence for inhibition of PLD1 as a potential therapeutic strategy in preventing progression of cognitive decline associated with AD and related dementia.
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