Catching primal functional changes in early, 'very far from disease onset' (VFDO) stages of Huntington's disease is likely to be the key to a successful therapy. Focusing on VFDO stages, we assessed neuronal microcircuits in premanifest Hdh150 knock-in mice. Employing in vivo two-photon Ca2+ imaging, we revealed an early pattern of circuit dysregulation in the visual cortex- one of the first regions affected in premanifest Huntington's disease - characterized by an increase in activity, an enhanced synchronicity and hyperactive neurons. These findings are accompanied by aberrations in animal behavior. We furthermore show that the anti-diabetic drug metformin diminishes aberrant Huntingtin protein load and fully restores both, early network activity patterns and behavioral aberrations. This network-centered approach reveals a critical window of vulnerability far before clinical manifestation and establishes metformin as a promising candidate for a chronic therapy starting early in premanifest Huntington's disease pathogenesis long before the onset of clinical symptoms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Neuroscience
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Immunology and Microbiology