Noura B El Khoury 1 , Maud Gratuze 1 , Franck Petry 1 , Marie-Amélie Papon 2 , Carl Julien 2 , François Marcouiller 1 , Françoise Morin 2 , Samantha B Nicholls 3 , Frédéric Calon 4 , Sébastien S Hébert 1 , André Marette 5 , Emmanuel Planel 6
Accumulating evidence from epidemiological studies suggest that type 2 diabetes is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the consequences of type 2 diabetes on AD pathologies, such as tau hyperphosphorylation, are not well understood. Here, we evaluated the impact of type 2 diabetes on tau phosphorylation in db/db diabetic mice aged 4 and 26weeks. We found increased tau phosphorylation at the CP13 epitope correlating with a deregulation of c-Jun. N-terminal kinase (JNK) and Protein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A) in 4-week-old db/db mice. 26-week-old db/db mice displayed tau hyperphosphorylation at multiple epitopes (CP13, AT8, PHF-1), but no obvious change in kinases or phosphatases, no cleavage of tau, and no deregulation of central insulin signaling pathways. In contrast to younger animals, 26-week-old db/db mice were hypothermic and restoration of normothermia rescued phosphorylation at most epitopes. Our results suggest that, at early stages of type 2 diabetes, changes in tau phosphorylation may be due to deregulation of JNK and PP2A, while at later stages hyperphosphorylation is mostly a consequence of hypothermia. These results provide a novel link between diabetes and tau pathology, and underlie the importance of recording body temperature to better understand the relationship between diabetes and AD.