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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 483281, 7 pages
Research Article

Neprilysin Is Poorly Expressed in the Prefrontal Cortex of Aged Dogs with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

1Araclon Biotech Ltd., Vía Hispanidad 21, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
2Departamento de Ciencias Clínicas Veterinarias, Facultad de Veterinaria de Lugo, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, 27002 Lugo, Spain

Received 1 October 2013; Revised 16 December 2013; Accepted 21 December 2013; Published 6 January 2014

Academic Editor: Mark Kindy

Copyright © 2014 Jesús Canudas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neprilysin (NEP) is the principal amyloid β (Aβ) degrading peptidase; this activity may protect against Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most important age-related neurodegenerative process. The aim of this work was to analyze NEP mRNA expression in the frontal cortex of dogs with and without canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), which is considered a natural model for AD. Expression of canine cerebral NEP mRNA was assessed by RT-PCR followed by qPCR in young, aged-cognitively unimpaired (CU), and aged-cognitively impaired (CI) dogs. On average, aged-CI dogs showed 80% () lower expression levels of NEP mRNA than their aged-CU counterparts. Furthermore, the standard deviation of the qPCR measurements was more than 6 times higher in the cognitively healthy animals (young and aged-CU) than in the aged-CI group. Another interesting find is the determination of a positive correlation between NEP expression and the number of cholinergic neurons in basal telencephalon, indicating a probable connection between both events in these types of neurodegeneration processes. These results suggest that high expression levels of NEP might be a protective factor for canine CDS and, most likely, for other Aβ-associated neurodegenerative diseases, such as AD.