Deficiency in the transcription factor NRF2 worsens inflammatory parameters in a mouse model with combined tauopathy and amyloidopathy
Chronic neuroinflammation is a hallmark of the onset and progression of brain proteinopathies such as Alzheimer disease (AD) and it is suspected to participate in the neurodegenerative process. Transcription factor NRF2, a master regulator of redox homeostasis, controls acute inflammation but its relevance in low-grade chronic inflammation of AD is inconclusive due to lack of good mouse models. We have addressed this question in a transgenic mouse that combines amyloidopathy and tauopathy with either wild type (AT-NRF2-WT) or NRF2-deficiency (AT-NRF2-KO). AT-NRF2-WT mice died prematurely, at around 14 months of age, due to motor deficits and a terminal spinal deformity but AT-NRF2-KO mice died roughly 2 months earlier. NRF2-deficiency correlated with exacerbated astrogliosis and microgliosis, as determined by an increase in GFAP, IBA1 and CD11b levels. The immunomodulatory molecule dimethyl fumarate (DMF), a drug already used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis whose main target is accepted to be NRF2, was tested in this preclinical model. Daily oral gavage of DMF during six weeks reduced glial and inflammatory markers and improved cognition and motor complications in the AT-NRF2-WT mice compared with the vehicle-treated animals. This study demonstrates the relevance of the inflammatory response in experimental AD, tightly regulated by NRF2 activity, and provides a new strategy to fight AD.
Streptocyclinones A and B ameliorate Alzheimer's disease pathological processes in vitro
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a pathology characterized by the abnormal accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau. Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are also strongly related to this disease. The ability of two new glycosylated angucyclinones, streptocyclinones A and B (1 and 2), isolated from Streptomyces sp to improve AD hallmarks was evaluated. Compounds were able to protect SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells from HO-induced oxidative injury by activating the nuclear factor E2-related factor (Nrf2). Their capacity to modulate neuroinflammation was tested in lipopolysaccharide-activated BV2 microglial cells. Compounds reduced the release of pro-inflammatory factors, inhibited the activation of NFκB and mitogen activated kinases (MAPK), and induced the translocation of Nrf2 to the nucleus of microglial cells. A trans-well co-culture was established to determine the effect of microglia treated with streptocyclinones on the survival of SH-SY5Y cells. The cell viability of neuroblastoma cells increased when the compounds were added to BV2 cells. SH-SY5Y-TMHT441 cells were used to determine the effect of compounds on tau phosphorylation. Both compounds reduced tau hyperphophorylation by targeting MAPK kinases. Moreover, streptocyclinone B (2) was able to inhibit the activity of β-secretase 1 and decrease the release of reactive oxygen species in BV2 cells stimulated with Aβ. With the same co-culture trans-well system, the treatment of Aβ-stimulated microglia with compound 2 augmented the viability of SH-SY5Y-TMHT441 cells. The results presented in this work provide evidences of the multitarget activities displayed by these new Streptomyces compounds, making them good candidates for further studies in the treatment of AD.
CART peptide activates the Nrf2/HO-1 antioxidant pathway and protects hippocampal neurons in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease
The accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and oxidative stress damage in the brain are recognized as early features of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptide may possibly play an antioxidative role in neurons. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential antioxidant mechanism of CART peptide in a rat model of AD. We microinjected of Aβ (2μl/4μg/hemisphere) into rat hippocampus to set a rat model of AD. A pre-microinjection of CART peptide (1μl/0.02μg/hemisphere) into rat hippocampus was administered for five consecutive days before Aβ treatment. We found that Aβ microinjection led to reduction of endogenous CART level in rat hippocampus. CART pretreatment improved the spatial memory and locomotor ability of AD rats. CART peptide decreased the Aβ and Aβ production-associated enzyme BACE1 levels. Moreover, CART peptide attenuated the oxidative stress damage with a concrete manifestation of increased MDA as well as decreased T-SOD, GSH and ATP levels in the hippocampus of Aβ-treated rat, which may be causatively implicated the activating of Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway. Furthermore, CART peptide attenuated neuronal apoptosis with decreased Bax, caspase-9 and caspase-3 levels and increased Bcl-2 level in rat hippocampus. Our results therefore indicate that CART peptide could serve as an antioxidant in early therapy for AD.
Pyridoxine exerts antioxidant effects in cell model of Alzheimer's disease via the Nrf-2/HO-1 pathway
Pyridoxine is a water- soluble pyridine derivative. The effect of pyridoxine in cell models of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the potential mechanisms involved, are not fully understood. In this study, the anti-AD effects of pyridoxine were studied in an AD cell model using a combination of techniques viz MTT assay, western blotting and assays for reactive oxygen species (ROS). Assays were also carried out to determine the mechanism underlying the antioxidant effects of pyridoxine. The results obtained revealed that pyridoxine exerted a protective potential against AD, attenuated ROS levels, decreased the expressions of cytoplasmic Nrf2, and upregulated whole-cell HO-1 expression. These results suggest that the anti-AD effect of pyridoxine may be attributed to its anti-oxidant property elicited via stimulation of the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway.
Plumbagin ameliorates memory dysfunction in streptozotocin induced Alzheimer's disease via activation of Nrf2/ARE pathway and inhibition of β-secretase
Although plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone) protects against cerebral ischemia and spinal cord injury-induced oxidative stress and inflammation by activating the nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2 /antioxidant response element (Nrf2/ARE) pathway, its role in the amelioration of neurodegenerative diseases remains unexplored. In the present study, we investigated the effect of plumbagin on Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like condition in mice. The animals were treated intracerebroventricularly with streptozotocin (STZ; 3 mg/kg) twice, on day 1 and 3, to induce AD-like condition, and the symptoms were evaluated after 14 days. While the loss of learning and memory performance was evident in the mice subjected to Morris water maze (MWM), there was a striking increase in the population of astrocytes labelled with glial ﬁbrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the hippocampus. Daily intraperitoneal (i.p.) treatment with plumbagin (0.5 and 1 mg/kg), starting from 1 h prior to first dose of STZ, significantly prevented the cognitive deficits in MWM. On the other hand, administration of Nrf2/ARE pathway inhibitor, trigonelline (10 and 15 mg/kg, i.p.) enhanced the effects of STZ. Pre-treatment with subeffective dose of trigonelline (5 mg/kg) significantly attenuated the effects of plumbagin in MWM. While plumbagin prevented the STZ induced GFAP expression, this effect of plumbagin was attenuated by trigonelline. Moreover, the in silico docking study revealed potent inhibitory effect of plumbagin on β-secretase enzyme. The results of the present study suggest that plumbagin improves cognitive function in STZ induced mouse model of AD possibly via Nrf2/ARE mediated suppression of astrogliosis and inhibition of β-secretase enzyme.
Rosmarinic acid attenuates β-amyloid-induced oxidative stress via Akt/GSK-3β/Fyn-mediated Nrf2 activation in PC12 cells
Oxidative stress is an important pathogenic factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently, nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) has emerged as a master regulator for the endogenous antioxidant response, and thus represents an attractive therapeutic target against AD. The aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that rosmarinic acid (RosA) attenuates amyloid-β (Aβ)-evoked oxidative stress through activating Nrf2-inducible cellular antioxidant defense system. Here, we reported that RosA attenuated Aβ-induced cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and lipid hydroperoxides (LPO). Interestingly, knockdown of Nrf2 by plasmid-based short hairpin RNA (shRNA) abrogated, at least in part, RosA-mediated neuroprotection in Aβ-challenged PC12 cells. Mechanistically, RosA enhanced the nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and binding to antioxidant response element (ARE) core element but did not induced Nrf2 transcription. Simultaneously, RosA induced a set of Nrf2 downstream target genes encoding phase-II antioxidant enzymes. Furthermore, RosA enhanced protein kinase B (Akt) phosphorylation, glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) phosphorylation at Ser9, and Fyn phosphorylation. Noteworthy, pharmacological inhibition or gene knockdown studies demonstrated that Akt locate upstream of GSK-3β and regulate Nrf2 through Fyn in the context of PC12 cells pre-incubated with RosA following exposed to Aβ. Conversely, the antioxidant effects of RosA could be blocked by Akt inhibitors LY294002, GSK-3β inhibitor LiCl, Nrf2 shRNA, or Fyn shRNA in Aβ-challenged PC12 cells. Consequently, the antioxidant effects of RosA are mediated predominantly by Akt/GSK-3β/Fyn pathway through increased activity of Nrf2. These results suggest, although do not prove, that RosA can be a promising candidate for neuroprotective treatment of AD.
A hypermorphic antioxidant response element is associated with increased MS4A6A expression and Alzheimer's disease
Late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a multifactorial disorder, with AD risk influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified genetic loci associated with increased risk of developing AD. The MS4A (membrane-spanning 4-domains subfamily A) gene cluster is one of the most significant loci associated with AD risk, and MS4A6A expression is correlated with AD pathology. We identified a single nucleotide polymorphism, rs667897, at the MS4A locus that creates an antioxidant response element and links MS4A6A expression to the stress responsive Cap-n-Collar (CNC) transcription factors NRF1 (encoded by NFE2L1) and NRF2 (encoded by NFE2L2). The risk allele of rs667897 generates a strong CNC binding sequence that is activated by proteostatic stress in an NRF1-dependent manner, and is associated with increased expression of the gene MS4A6A. Together, these findings suggest that the cytoprotective CNC regulatory network aberrantly activates MS4A6A expression and increases AD risk in a subset of the population.
Epigenetic modification of Nrf2 by sulforaphane increases the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory capacity in a cellular model of Alzheimer's disease
Sulforaphane was reported to exert neuroprotective effects via upregulating expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and has received increasing attention as an alternative candidate for treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the mechanism to account for Nrf2 upregulation by sulforaphane in AD remains unknown. Herein, we found that sulforaphane upregulated Nrf2 expression and promoted Nrf2 nuclear translocation via decreasing DNA methylation levels of the Nrf2 promoter in mouse neuroblastoma N2a cells stably expressing human Swedish mutant amyloid precursor protein (N2a/APPswe cells), a cellular model of AD. Furthermore, sulforaphane (1.25 and 2.5 μM) decreased the levels of amyloid β 1-40 (Aβ) (21.7% and 33.4% decrease for intracellular Aβ; 22.0% and 30.2% decrease in culture medium), Aβ (26.4% and 42.9% decrease for intracellular Aβ; 25.8% and 43.8% decrease in culture medium), reactive oxygen species (15.0% and 28.5% decrease), and malondialdehyde (MDA) (34.4% and 39.2% decrease) and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) (60.0% and 89.3% increase) activity in N2a/APPswe cells. Sulforaphane also decreased the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin 1β (IL-1β) (16.5% and 33.6% decrease) and IL-6 (15.6% and 26.1% decrease) and reduced phosphorylated nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65 (19.2% and 32.2% decrease), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) (20.5% and 28.6% decrease), and iNOS protein (40.2% and 54.7% decrease) expression levels in N2a/APPswe cells. Our study suggested that sulforaphane upregulated the expression of Nrf2 and promoted the nuclear translocation of Nrf2 by decreasing DNA demethylation levels of the Nrf2 promoter, thus leading to antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects in a cellular model of AD.
Dl-3-n-Butylphthalide Inhibits NLRP3 Inflammasome and Mitigates Alzheimer's-Like Pathology via Nrf2-TXNIP-TrX Axis
Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation play important roles in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP), an endogenous inhibitor of antioxidant thioredoxin, is suspected to be an important modulator of oxidative stress and inflammation. However, the underlying mechanism involved in the abnormal homeostasis of TXNIP-thioredoxin (TrX) in AD pathogenesis remains unclear.
Dietary Vitamin E Status Dictates Oxidative Stress Outcomes by Modulating Effects of Fish Oil Supplementation in Alzheimer Disease Model APP/PS1 Mice
Quite a number of studies have examined the effects of fish oil supplementation on cognitive performance in different transgenic animal models of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, inconsistent and controversial outcomes have been derived from these experiments. In order to investigate whether the beneficial effect of fish oil supplementation on cognition was dietary VE status associated, fish oil dietary intervention was carried out in transgenic APP/PS1 (APP/PS1) mice. Control mice (C57BL/6J mice) were fed a normal control diet. APP/PS1 mice were assigned to a normal control diet group and low VE diet + fish oil supplement, normal VE diet + fish oil supplement, and high VE diet + fish oil supplement groups, respectively. After 7 months of dietary intervention, we found that fish oil supplementation improved behavioral performance, alleviated brain beta-amyloid (Aβ) plaque burden, and attenuated the oxidative stress in APP/PS1 mice by increasing cortical GSH content and total antioxidant capacity, as well as by decreasing MDA level. Fish oil treatment increased cortical n-3 PUFA concentration and decreased n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio in APP/PS1 mice. Fatty acid transporters, Nrf2 and downstream targets involved in cortical and hippocampal antioxidant system were also modulated by fish oil-supplemented diet. Our data demonstrate that fish oil supplementation exerts an enhanced modulatory effect on the antioxidant system and fatty acid concentrations in APP/PS1 mice fed on lowly or averagely concentrated level of VE-containing diet than in mice fed with VE-rich diet. The current data do support previous findings that already dictate the beneficial effect of n-3 PUFAs on cognitive function. Moreover, the cognition promoting effects of n-3 PUFAs may be dietary VE status related.
Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Ketogenic Diet: New Perspectives for Neuroprotection in Alzheimer's Disease
The ketogenic diet, originally developed for the treatment of epilepsy in non-responder children, is spreading to be used in the treatment of many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. The main activity of the ketogenic diet has been related to improved mitochondrial function and decreased oxidative stress. B-Hydroxybutyrate, the most studied ketone body, has been shown to reduce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), improving mitochondrial respiration: it stimulates the cellular endogenous antioxidant system with the activation of nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), it modulates the ratio between the oxidized and reduced forms of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD⁺/NADH) and it increases the efficiency of electron transport chain through the expression of uncoupling proteins. Furthermore, the ketogenic diet performs anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-kB) activation and nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich-containing family, pyrin domain-containing-3 (NLRP3) inflammasome as well as inhibiting histone deacetylases (HDACs), improving memory encoding. The underlying mechanisms and the perspectives for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease are discussed.
Kynurenic Acid Restores Nrf2 Levels and Prevents Quinolinic Acid-Induced Toxicity in Rat Striatal Slices
Kynurenic acid (KYNA) and quinolinic acid (QUIN) are metabolites produced in the degradation of tryptophan and have important neurological activities. KYNA/QUIN ratio changes are known to be associated with central nervous system disorders, such Alzheimer, Parkinson, and Huntington diseases. In the present study, we investigate the ability of KYNA in prevent the first events preceding QUIN-induced neurodegeneration in striatal slices of rat. We evaluated the protective effect of KYNA on oxidative status (reactive oxygen species production, antioxidant enzymes activities, lipid peroxidation, nitrite levels, protein and DNA damage, and iNOS immunocontent), mitochondrial function (mitochondrial mass, membrane potential, and respiratory chain enzymes), and Na,K-ATPase in striatal slices of rats treated with QUIN. Since QUIN alters the levels of Nrf2, we evaluated the influence of KYNA protection on this parameter. Striatal slices from 30-day-old Wistar rats were preincubated with KYNA (100 μM) for 15 min, followed by incubation with 100-μM QUIN for 30 min. Results showed that KYNA prevented the increase of ROS production caused by QUIN and restored antioxidant enzyme activities and the protein and lipid damage, as well as the Nrf2 levels. KYNA also prevented the effects of QUIN on mitochondrial mass and mitochondrial membrane potential, as well as the decrease in the activities of complex II, SDH, and Na,K-ATPase. We suggest that KYNA prevents changes in Nrf2 levels, oxidative imbalance, and mitochondrial dysfunction caused by QUIN in striatal slices. This study elucidates some of the protective effects of KYNA against the damage caused by QUIN toxicity.
Transcriptional regulators of redox balance and other homeostatic processes with the potential to alter neurodegenerative disease trajectory
Diverse neurodegenerative diseases share some common aspects to their pathology, with many showing evidence of disruption to the brain's numerous homeostatic processes. As such, imbalanced inflammatory status, glutamate dyshomeostasis, hypometabolism and oxidative stress are implicated in many disorders. That these pathological processes can influence each other both up- and downstream makes for a complicated picture, but means that successfully targeting one area may have an effect on others. This targeting requires an understanding of the mechanisms by which homeostasis is maintained during health, in order to uncover strategies to boost homeostasis in disease. A case in point is redox homeostasis, maintained by antioxidant defences co-ordinately regulated by the transcription factor Nrf2, and capable of preventing not only oxidative stress but also inflammation and neuronal loss in neurodegenerative disease models. The emergence of other master regulators of homeostatic processes in the brain controlling inflammation, mitochondrial biogenesis, glutamate uptake and energy metabolism raises the question as to whether they too can be targeted to alter disease trajectory.
Piperlongumine restores the balance of autophagy and apoptosis by increasing BCL2 phosphorylation in rotenone-induced Parkinson disease models
Parkinson disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer disease and is caused by genetics, environmental factors and aging, with few treatments currently available. Apoptosis and macroautophagy/autophagy play critical roles in PD pathogenesis; as such, modulating their balance is a potential treatment strategy. BCL2 (B cell leukemia/lymphoma 2) is a key molecule regulating this balance. Piperlongumine (PLG) is an alkaloid extracted from Piper longum L. that has antiinflammatory and anticancer effects. The present study investigated the protective effects of PLG in rotenone-induced PD cell and mouse models. We found that PLG administration (2 and 4 mg/kg) for 4 wk attenuated motor deficits in mice and prevented the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra induced by oral administration of rotenone (10 mg/kg) for 6 wk. PLG improved cell viability and enhanced mitochondrial function in primary neurons and SK-N-SH cells. These protective effects were exerted via inhibition of apoptosis and induction of autophagy through enhancement of BCL2 phosphorylation at Ser70. These results demonstrate that PLG exerts therapeutic effects in a rotenone-induced PD models by restoring the balance between apoptosis and autophagy.
Evaluation of antioxidant and neuroprotective activities of (L.) using the model
(L.) (Fabaceae) is a medicinal plant from tropical Asia. It is known for its marked antioxidant activity, which is attributed to its high phenolic content. The present study aims at testing both the antioxidant and neuroprotective effects of a hydroalcoholic extract from the aerial parts of using the model, which is widely used in this context.