Fingolimod Rescues Memory and Improves Pathological Hallmarks in the 3xTg-AD Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Steven G. Fagan*, Sibylle Bechet, Kumlesh K. Dev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have largely focused on the regulation of amyloid pathology while those targeting tau pathology, and inflammatory mechanisms are less explored. In this regard, drugs with multimodal and concurrent targeting of Aβ, tau, and inflammatory processes may offer advantages. Here, we investigate one such candidate drug in the triple transgenic 3xTg-AD mouse model of AD, namely the disease-modifying oral neuroimmunomodulatory therapeutic used in patients with multiple sclerosis, called fingolimod. In this study, administration of fingolimod was initiated after behavioral symptoms are known to emerge, at 6 months of age. Treatment continued to 12 months when behavioral tests were performed and thereafter histological and biochemical analysis was conducted on postmortem tissue. The results demonstrate that fingolimod reverses deficits in spatial working memory at 8 and 12 months of age as measured by novel object location and Morris water maze tests. Inflammation in the brain is alleviated as demonstrated by reduced Iba1-positive and CD3-positive cell number, less ramified microglial morphology, and improved cytokine profile. Finally, treatment with fingolimod was shown to reduce phosphorylated tau and APP levels in the hippocampus and cortex. These results highlight the potential of fingolimod as a multimodal therapeutic for the treatment of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1882-1895
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • FTY720
  • Inflammation
  • Sphingosine-1-phosphate


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