bims-metalz Biomed News
on Metabolic causes of Alzheimer’s disease
Issue of 2023‒02‒12
twelve papers selected by
Mikaila Chetty
Goa University

  1. Biomed Res Int. 2023 ;2023 7389508
      Neurodegenerative processes encompass a large variety of diseases with different pathological patterns and clinical features, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Exposure to metals has been hypothesized to increase oxidative stress in brain cells leading to cell death and neurodegeneration. Neurotoxicity of metals has been demonstrated by several in vitro and in vivo experimental studies, and most probably, each metal has its specific pathway to trigger cell death. As a result, exposure to essential metals, such as manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and cobalt, and nonessential metals, including lead, aluminum, and cadmium, perturbs metal homeostasis at the cellular and organism levels leading to neurodegeneration. In this contribution, a comprehensive review of the molecular mechanisms by which metals affect microglia physiology and signaling properties is presented. Furthermore, studies that validate the disruption of microglia activation pathways as an essential mechanism of metal toxicity that can contribute to neurodegenerative disease are also presented and discussed.
  2. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 25. pii: 2399. [Epub ahead of print]24(3):
      The gut microbiome plays a major role in human health, and gut microbial imbalance or dysbiosis is associated with disease development. Modulation in the gut microbiome can be used to treat or prevent different diseases. Gut dysbiosis increases with aging, and it has been associated with the impairment of gut barrier function leading to the leakage of harmful metabolites such as trimethylamine (TMA). TMA is a gut metabolite resulting from dietary amines that originate from animal-based foods. TMA enters the portal circulation and is oxidized by the hepatic enzyme into trimethylamine oxide (TMAO). Increased TMAO levels have been reported in elderly people. High TMAO levels are linked to peripheral artery disease (PAD), endothelial senescence, and vascular aging. Emerging evidence showed the beneficial role of probiotics and prebiotics in the management of several atherogenic risk factors through the remodeling of the gut microbiota, thus leading to a reduction in TMAO levels and atherosclerotic lesions. Despite the promising outcomes in different studies, the definite mechanisms of gut dysbiosis and microbiota-derived TMAO involved in atherosclerosis remain not fully understood. More studies are still required to focus on the molecular mechanisms and precise treatments targeting gut microbiota and leading to atheroprotective effects.
    Keywords:  TMAO; aging; atherosclerosis; gut dysbiosis; gut microbiome; probiotics; short chain fatty acids
  3. Neuropharmacology. 2023 Feb 02. pii: S0028-3908(23)00043-6. [Epub ahead of print] 109453
      The gut microbiota refers to an entire population of microorganisms that colonize the gut. This community includes viruses, prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea), and eukaryotes (fungi and parasites). Multiple studies in the last decades described the significant involvement of gut bacteria in gut-brain axis communication; however, the involvement of other members of the gut microbiota has been neglected. Recent studies found that these 'forgotten' members of the gut microbiota may also have a role in gut-brain communication, although it is still unclear whether they have a direct effect on the brain or if their effects are mediated by gut bacteria. Here, we provide concrete suggestions for future research to tease out mechanisms of the microbiota-gut-brain axis.
    Keywords:  Archaeome; Bacteriome; Gut-brain axis; Microbiome; Mycobiome; Parasitome; Virome
  4. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2023 Feb 03.
      Amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are two main characteristics of Alzheimer's disease (AD). As cerebral resident phagocytes, microglia have different roles in Aβ pathology and tau pathology. In this review, we discuss microglial functions in the formation, clearance, and spread of Aβ and tau. Many receptors and enzymes, which are related to microglia, participate in AD pathologies and thus are thought to be potential targets of AD. So, making use of microglia can be beneficial to confine AD pathologies. To sum up, we review the roles of microglia in AD pathology and possible corresponding treatments.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer ’s disease; Amyloid β; Microglia; Neurofibrillary tangles; Tau
  5. J Neurochem. 2023 Feb 10.
      Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a lipid transporter produced predominantly by astrocytes in the brain. The ε4 variant of APOE (APOE4) is the strongest and most common genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although the molecular mechanisms of this increased risk are unclear, APOE4 is known to alter immune signaling and lipid and glucose metabolism. Astrocytes provide various forms of support to neurons, including regulating neuronal metabolism and immune responses through cytokine signaling. Changes in astrocyte function due to APOE4 may therefore decrease neuronal support, leaving neurons more vulnerable to stress and disease insults. To determine whether APOE4 alters astrocyte neuronal support functions, we measured glycolytic and oxidative metabolism of neurons treated with conditioned media from APOE4 or APOE3 (the common, risk-neutral variant) primary astrocyte cultures. We found that APOE4 neurons treated with conditioned media from resting APOE4 astrocytes had similar metabolism to APOE3 neurons treated with media from resting APOE3 astrocytes, but treatment with astrocytic conditioned media from astrocytes challenged with amyloid-β (Aβ), a key pathological protein in AD, caused APOE4 neurons to increase their basal mitochondrial and glycolytic metabolic rates more than APOE3 neurons. These changes were not due to differences in astrocytic lactate production or glucose utilization, but instead correlated with increased glycolytic ATP production and a lack of cytokine secretion in response to Aβ. Additionally, we identified that astrocytic cytokine signatures could predict basal metabolism on neurons treated with the astrocytic conditioned media. Together, these findings suggest that in the presence of Aβ, APOE4 astrocytes alter immune and metabolic functions that result in a compensatory increase in neuronal metabolic stress.
    Keywords:  ATP; Astrocytes; amyloid-β; cytokines; glucose; glycolysis; immunometabolism
  6. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 1055050
      The complement system is implicated in a broad range of neuroinflammatory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Consequently, measuring complement levels in biofluids could serve as a potential biomarker for these diseases. Indeed, complement levels are shown to be altered in patients compared to controls, and some studies reported a correlation between the level of free complement in biofluids and disease progression, severity or the response to therapeutics. Overall, they are not (yet) suitable as a diagnostic tool due to heterogeneity of reported results. Moreover, measurement of free complement proteins has the disadvantage that information on their origin is lost, which might be of value in a multi-parameter approach for disease prediction and stratification. In light of this, extracellular vesicles (EVs) could provide a platform to improve the diagnostic power of complement proteins. EVs are nanosized double membrane particles that are secreted by essentially every cell type and resemble the (status of the) cell of origin. Interestingly, EVs can contain complement proteins, while the cellular origin can still be determined by the presence of EV surface markers. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge and future opportunities on the use of free and EV-associated complement proteins as biomarkers for neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; biomarker; complement; extracellular vesicle (EV); multiple sclerosis; neuroinflammation
  7. Cells. 2023 Jan 28. pii: 429. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
      Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that serve as the primary cellular energy-generating system. Apart from ATP production, they are essential for many biological processes, including calcium homeostasis, lipid biogenesis, ROS regulation and programmed cell death, which collectively render them invaluable for neuronal integrity and function. Emerging evidence indicates that mitochondrial dysfunction and altered mitochondrial dynamics are crucial hallmarks of a wide variety of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions. At the same time, the gut microbiome has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders due to the bidirectional communication between the gut and the central nervous system, known as the gut-brain axis. Here we summarize new insights into the complex interplay between mitochondria, gut microbiota and neurodegeneration, and we refer to animal models that could elucidate the underlying mechanisms, as well as novel interventions to tackle age-related neurodegenerative conditions, based on this intricate network.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Huntington’s disease; ageing; gut–brain axis; microbiome; mitochondria; neurodegeneration
  8. J Mol Med (Berl). 2023 Feb 09.
      Gut microbiota in interaction with intestinal host tissues influences many brain functions and microbial dysbiosis has been linked with brain disorders, such as neuropsychiatric conditions and Alzheimer's disease (AD). L-tryptophan metabolites and short-chained fatty acids (SCFA) are major messengers in the microbiota-brain axis. Aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AhR) are main targets of tryptophan metabolites in brain microvessels which possess an enriched expression of AhR protein. The Ah receptor is an evolutionarily conserved, ligand-activated transcription factor which is not only a sensor of xenobiotic toxins but also a pleiotropic regulator of both developmental processes and age-related tissue degeneration. Major microbiota-produced tryptophan metabolites involve indole derivatives, e.g., indole 3-pyruvic acid, indole 3-acetaldehyde, and indoxyl sulfate, whereas indoleamine and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenases (IDO/TDO) of intestine host cells activate the kynurenine (KYN) pathway generating KYN metabolites, many of which are activators of AhR signaling. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) increases the serum level of indoxyl sulfate which promotes AD pathogenesis, e.g., it disrupts integrity of blood-brain barrier (BBB) and impairs cognitive functions. Activation of AhR signaling disturbs vascular homeostasis in brain; (i) it controls blood flow via the renin-angiotensin system, (ii) it inactivates endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), thus impairing NO production and vasodilatation, and (iii) it induces oxidative stress, stimulates inflammation, promotes cellular senescence, and enhances calcification of vascular walls. All these alterations are evident in cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) in AD pathology. Moreover, AhR signaling can disturb circadian regulation and probably affect glymphatic flow. It seems plausible that dysbiosis of gut microbiota impairs the integrity of BBB via the activation of AhR signaling and thus aggravates AD pathology. KEY MESSAGES: Dysbiosis of gut microbiota is associated with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Tryptophan metabolites are major messengers from the gut host-microbiota to brain. Tryptophan metabolites activate aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling in brain. The expression of AhR protein is enriched in brain microvessels and blood-brain barrier. Tryptophan metabolites disturb brain vascular integrity via AhR signaling. Dysbiosis of gut microbiota promotes inflammation and AD pathology via AhR signaling.
    Keywords:  Aging; Hypoperfusion; Immunosuppression; Microbiome; Microflora; Uremic toxin
  9. Nutrients. 2023 Feb 03. pii: 790. [Epub ahead of print]15(3):
      Aging-related gut microbiota dysbiosis initiates gut inflammation and microbiota dysbiosis, which induce the occurrence of psychiatric disorders including dementia. The alleviation of gut microbiota dysbiosis by probiotics is suggested to be able to alleviate psychiatric disorders including cognitive impairment (CI). Therefore, to understand how probiotics could alleviate CI, we examined the effects of anti-inflammatory Lactobacillus gasseri NK109 and its supplement (NS, mixture of NK109 and soybean embryo ethanol extract) on cognitive function in aged (Ag), 5XFAD transgenic (Tg), or mildly cognition-impaired adult fecal microbiota (MCF)-transplanted mice. Oral administration of NK109 or NS decreased CI-like behaviors in Ag mice. Their treatments suppressed TNF-α and p16 expression and NF-κB-activated cell populations in the hippocampus and colon, while BDNF expression was induced. Moreover, they partially shifted the β-diversity of gut microbiota in Ag mice to those of young mice: they decreased Bifidobacteriaceae, Lactobacillaceae, and Helicobacteriaceae populations and increased Rikenellaceae and Prevotellaceae populations. Oral administration of NK109 or NS also reduced CI-like behaviors in Tg mice. Their treatments induced BDNF expression in the hippocampus, decreased hippocampal TNF-α and Aβ expression and hippocampal and colonic NF-κB-activated cell populations. NK109 and NS partially shifted the β-diversity of gut microbiota in Tg mice: they decreased Muribaculaceae and Rhodospiraceae populations and increased Helicobacteriaceae population. Oral administration of NK109 or NS decreased MCF transplantation-induced CI-like behaviors in mice. NK109 and NS increased hippocampal BDNF expression, while hippocampal and colonic TNF-α expression and NF-κB-activated cell populations decreased. These findings suggest that dementia can fluctuate the gut microbiota composition and NK109 and its supplement NS can alleviate CI with systemic inflammation by inducing BDNF expression and suppressing NF-κB activation and gut microbiota dysbiosis.
    Keywords:  Lactobacillus gasseri; aging; dementia; fecal microbiota transplantation; gut inflammation; gut microbiota dysbiosis
  10. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2023 Feb 03.
      The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a highly selective interface between the blood and the brain parenchyma. It plays an essential role in maintaining a specialized environment for central nervous system function and homeostasis. The BBB disrupts with age, which contributes to the development of many age-related disorders due to central and peripheral toxic factors or BBB dysfunction. Microglia, the resident innate immune cells of the brain, have recently been explored for their ability to directly and indirectly regulate the integrity of the BBB. This review will focus on the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms utilized by microglia to regulate BBB integrity and how this becomes disrupted in aging and age-associated diseases. We will also discuss the rational to consider microglia as a therapeutic target to prevent or slow down the neurodegeneration.
    Keywords:  Aging; Blood-brain barrier; Microglia; Neurodegeneration; Neuroinflammation; Neurovascular unit
  11. J Med Chem. 2023 Feb 10.
      Transient soluble oligomers of amyloid-β (Aβ) are considered among the most toxic species in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Soluble Aβ oligomers accumulate early prior to insoluble plaque formation and cognitive impairment. The cyclic d,l-α-peptide CP-2 (1) self-assembles into nanotubes and demonstrates promising anti-amyloidogenic activity likely by a mechanism involving engagement of soluble oligomers. Systematic replacement of the residues in peptide 1 with aza-amino acid counterparts was performed to explore the effects of hydrogen bonding on propensity to mitigate Aβ aggregation and toxicity. Certain azapeptides exhibited improved ability to engage, alter the secondary structure, and inhibit aggregation of Aβ. Moreover, certain azapeptides disassembled preformed Aβ fibrils and protected cells from Aβ-mediated toxicity. Substitution of the l-norleucine3 and d-serine6 residues in peptide 1 with aza-norleucine and aza-homoserine provided, respectively, nontoxic [azaNle3]-1 (4) and [azaHse6]-1 (7), that significantly abated symptoms in a transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans AD model by decreasing Aβ oligomer levels.
  12. Nature. 2023 Feb 06.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer's disease; Immunology; Microbiology; Neurodegeneration