bims-metalz Biomed News
on Metabolic causes of Alzheimer’s disease
Issue of 2023‒02‒05
four papers selected by
Mikaila Chetty
Goa University

  1. Mech Ageing Dev. 2023 Feb 01. pii: S0047-6374(23)00013-1. [Epub ahead of print] 111787
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Growing evidence suggests that the gut microbiome (GM) plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of AD through the microbiota-gut-brain axis (MGB). Alterations in GM composition and diversity have been observed in both animal models and in human patients with AD. GM dysbiosis has been implicated in increased intestinal permeability, blood-brain barrier (BBB) impairment, neuroinflammation and the development of hallmarks of AD. Further elucidation of the role of GM in AD could pave way for the development of holistic predictive methods for determining AD risk and progression of disease. Furthermore, accumulating evidence suggests that GM modulation could alleviate adverse symptoms of AD or serve as a preventive measure. In addition, increasing evidence shows that Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is often comorbid with AD, with common GM alterations and inflammatory response, which could chart the development of GM-related treatment interventions for both diseases. We conclude by exploring the therapeutic potential of GM in alleviating symptoms of AD and in reducing risk. Furthermore, we also propose future directions in AD research, namely fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and precision medicine.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s Disease; Gut Dysbiosis; Gut Microbiota; Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis; Neurodegeneration; Neuroinflammation; Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM); fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT)
  2. Degener Neurol Neuromuscul Dis. 2023 ;13 1-13
      Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common progressive neurodegenerative diseases caused by the loss of dopamine-producing neuronal cells in the region of substantia nigra pars compacta of the brain. During biological aging, neuronal cells slowly undergo degeneration, but the rate of cell death increases tremendously under some pathological conditions, leading to irreversible neurodegenerative diseases. By the time symptoms of PD usually appear, more than 50 to 60% of neuronal cells have already been destroyed. PD symptoms often start with tremors, followed by slow movement, stiffness, and postural imbalance. The etiology of PD is still unknown; however, besides genetics, several factors contribute to neurodegenerative disease, including exposure to pesticides, environmental chemicals, solvents, and heavy metals. Postmortem brain tissues of patients with PD show mitochondrial abnormalities, including dysfunction of the electron transport chain. Most chemicals present in our environment have been shown to target the mitochondria; remarkably, patients with PD show a mild deficiency in NADH dehydrogenase activity, signifying a possible link between PD and mitochondrial dysfunction. Inhibition of electron transport complexes generates free radicals that further attack the macromolecules leading to neuropathological conditions. Apart from that, oxidative stress also causes neuroinflammation-mediated neurodegeneration due to the activation of microglial cells. However, the mechanism that causes mitochondrial dysfunction, especially the electron transport chain, in the pathogenesis of PD remains unclear. This review discusses the recent updates and explains the possible mechanisms of mitochondrial toxicant-induced neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration in PD.
    Keywords:  Parkinson’s disease; apoptosis; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondrial toxicant; neurodegenerative disorder
  3. J Neurosci. 2023 Jan 30. pii: JN-RM-0172-22. [Epub ahead of print]
      The amyloid precursor protein (APP) is linked to the genetics and pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is the parent protein of the β-amyloid peptide, the main constituent of the amyloid plaques found in an AD brain. The pathways from APP to Aβ are intensively studied, yet the normal functions of APP itself have generated less interest. We report here that glutamate stimulation of neuronal activity leads to a rapid increase in App gene expression. In mouse and human neurons, elevated APP protein changes the structure of the axon initial segment (AIS) where action potentials are initiated. The AIS is shortened in length and shifts away from the cell body. GCaMP8f Ca2+reporter confirms the predicted decrease in neuronal activity. NMDA antagonists or knockdown of App block the glutamate effects. The actions of APP on the AIS are cell-autonomous; exogenous Aβ - either fibrillar or oligomeric - has no effect. In culture, APPSwe (a familial AD mutation) induces larger AIS changes than wild type APP. Ankyrin G and βIV-spectrin, scaffolding proteins of the AIS, both physically associate with APP, more so in AD brains. Finally, in humans with sporadic AD or in the R1.40 AD mouse model - both females and males - neurons have elevated levels of APP protein that invade the AIS. In vivo as in vitro, this increased APP is associated with a significant shortening of the AIS. The findings outline a new role for the APP and encourage a reconsideration of its relationship to AD.SIGNIFICANCE:While the amyloid precursor protein (APP) has long been associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the normal functions of the full-length Type I membrane protein have been largely unexplored. We report here that the levels of APP protein increase with neuronal activity. In vivo and in vitro, modest amounts of excess APP alter the properties of the axon initial segment (AIS). The Aβ peptide derived from APP is without effect. Consistent with the observed changes in the AIS which would be expected to decrease action potential firing, we show that APP expression depresses neuronal activity. In mouse AD models and human sporadic AD, APP physically associates with the scaffolding proteins of the AIS suggesting a relationship with AD dementia.
  4. J Neuroinflammation. 2023 Jan 30. 20(1): 19
      BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cognitive dysfunctions and behavioral impairments. Patchouli alcohol (PA), isolated from Pogostemonis Herba, exhibits multiple pharmacological properties, including neuroprotective effects. This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects of PA against AD using the TgCRND8 transgenic AD mouse model, and to explore the underlying mechanisms targeting CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β/asparagine endopeptidase (C/EBPβ/AEP) signaling pathway.METHODS: After genotyping to confirm the transgenicity, drug treatments were administered intragastrically once daily to 3-month-old TgCRND8 mice for 4 consecutive months. Several behavioral tests were applied to assess different aspects of neurological functions. Then the brain and colon tissues were harvested for in-depth mechanistic studies. To further verify whether PA exerts anti-AD effects via modulating C/EBPβ/AEP signaling pathway in TgCRND8 mice, adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors encoding CEBP/β were bilaterally injected into the hippocampal CA1 region in TgCRND8 mice to overexpress C/EBPβ. Additionally, the fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) experiment was performed to verify the potential role of gut microbiota on the anti-AD effects of PA.
    RESULTS: Our results showed that PA treatment significantly improved activities of daily living (ADL), ameliorated the anxiety-related behavioral deficits and cognitive impairments in TgCRND8 mice. PA modulated the amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing. PA also markedly reduced the levels of beta-amyloid (Aβ) 40 and Aβ42, suppressed Aβ plaque burdens, inhibited tau protein hyperphosphorylation at several sites and relieved neuroinflammation in the brains of TgCRND8 mice. Moreover, PA restored gut dysbiosis and inhibited the activation of the C/EBPβ/AEP signaling pathway in the brain and colon tissues of TgCRND8 mice. Interestingly, PA strikingly alleviated the AD-like pathologies induced by the overexpression of C/EBPβ in TgCRND8 mice. Additionally, the FMT of fecal microbiota from the PA-treated TgCRND8 mice significantly alleviated the cognitive impairments and AD-like pathologies in the germ-free TgCRND8 mice.
    CONCLUSION: All these findings amply demonstrated that PA could ameliorate the cognitive deficits in TgCRND8 mice via suppressing Aβ plaques deposition, hyperphosphorylation of tau protein, neuroinflammation and gut dysbiosis through inhibiting the activation of C/EBPβ/AEP pathway, suggesting that PA is a promising naturally occurring chemical worthy of further development into the pharmaceutical treatment of AD.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; C/EBPβ/AEP pathway; Gut microbiota; Neuropathology; Patchouli alcohol; TgCRND8