Genetic reduction of striatal-enriched tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) reverses cognitive and cellular deficits in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive and incurable neurodegenerative disorder. Early in the pathophysiology of AD, synaptic function is disrupted by soluble Aβ oligomers, possibly through Aβ-mediated internalization of NMDA receptors. Striatal-enriched phosphatase (STEP) is a tyrosine phosphatase that regulates the internalization of NMDA receptors. Recent work shows that STEP is elevated in the prefrontal cortex of human AD patients and in animal models of AD. Here, we use genetic manipulations to reduce STEP activity in a triple transgenic AD mouse model and show that a decrease in STEP levels reverses cognitive and cellular deficits observed in these mice. Our results suggest that STEP inhibitors may prove therapeutic for this devastating disorder.