Crosstalk between the mTOR and Nrf2/ARE signaling pathways as a target in the improvement of long-term potentiation
In recent years, a significant progress was made in understanding molecular mechanisms of long-term memory. Long-term memory formation requires strengthening of neuronal connections (LTP, long-term potentiation) associated with structural rearrangement of neurons. The key role in the synthesis of proteins essential for these rearrangements belong to mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) complexes and signaling pathways involved in mTOR regulation. Suppression of mTOR activity may impair synaptic plasticity and long-term memory, while mTOR activation inhibits autophagy, thereby potentiating amyloidosis and development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) accompanied by irreversible memory loss. Because of this, suppression/inhibition of mTOR might have unpredictable consequences on memory. The Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway affects almost all mitochondrial processes. The activation of this pathway improves memory and exhibits therapeutic effect in AD. In this review, we discuss the crosstalk between the Nrf2/ARE signaling and mTOR in the maintenance of synaptic plasticity. Nrf2 pathway can be activated by pharmacological agents and by changes in mitochondria functioning accompanying various neuronal dysfunctions.
Spinosin Inhibits Aβ Production and Aggregation via Activating Nrf2/HO-1 Pathway
The present research work primarily investigated whether spinosin has the potential of improving the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) driven by β-amyloid (Aβ) overproduction through impacting the procession of amyloid precursor protein (APP). Wild type mouse Neuro-2a cells (N2a/WT) and N2a stably expressing human APP695 (N2a/APP695) cells were treated with spinosin for 24 h. The levels of APP protein and secreted enzymes closely related to APP procession were examined by western blot analysis. Oxidative stress related proteins, such as nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) were detected by immunofluorescence assay and western blot analysis, respectively. The intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level was analyzed by flow cytometry, the levels of Aβ were determined by ELISA kit, and Thioflavin T (ThT) assay was used to detect the effect of spinosin on Aβ aggregation. The results showed that ROS induced the expression of ADAM10 and reduced the expression of BACE1, while spinosin inhibited ROS production by activating Nrf2 and up-regulating the expression of HO-1. Additionally, spinosin reduced Aβ production by impacting the procession of APP. In addition, spinosin inhibited the aggregation of Aβ. In conclusion, spinosin reduced Aβ production by activating the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway in N2a/WT and N2a/ APP695 cells. Therefore, spinosin is expected to be a promising treatment of AD.
Impairment of PGC-1α-mediated mitochondrial biogenesis precedes mitochondrial dysfunction and Alzheimer's pathology in the 3xTg mouse model of Alzheimer's disease
Impairment of mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial dysfunction is a prominent feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the extent to which the impairment of mitochondrial biogenesis influences mitochondrial dysfunction at the onset and during progression of AD is still unclear. Our study demonstrated that the protein expression pattern of the transcription factor pCREB/CREB, together with the protein expression of PGC-1α, NRF1 and TFAM are all significantly reduced in early ages of 3xTg-AD mice. We also found reduced mRNA expression levels of PKAC-α, CREB, PGC-1α, NRF1, NRF2 and TFAM as early as 1 month-of-age, an age at which there was no significant Aβ oligomer deposition, suggesting that mitochondrial biogenesis is likely impaired in ages preceding the development of the AD pathology. In addition, there was a decrease in VDAC2 expression, which is related to mitochondrial content and mitochondrial function, as demonstrated by protein expression of complex IV, as well as complex II + III, and complex IV activities, at later ages in 3xTg-AD mice. These results suggest that the impairment in mitochondrial biogenesis signaling mediated by PGC-1α at early ages of the AD mice model likely resulted in mitochondrial dysfunction and manifestation of the AD pathology at later ages. Taken together, enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis may represent a potential pharmacological approach for the treatment of AD.
Insulin signaling pathway and related molecules: Role in neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases. Its major pathological hallmarks, neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), and amyloid-β plaques can result from dysfunctional insulin signaling. Insulin is an important growth factor that regulates cell growth, energy utilization, mitochondrial function, autophagy, oxidative stress, synaptic plasticity, and cognitive function. Insulin and its downstream signaling molecules are located majorly in the regions of cortex and hippocampus. The major molecules involved in impaired insulin signaling include IRS, PI3K, Akt, and GSK-3β. Activation or inactivation of these major molecules through increased or decreased phosphorylation plays a role in insulin signaling abnormalities or insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, therefore, is considered as a major culprit in generating the hallmarks of AD arising from neuroinflammation and oxidative stress, etc. Moreover, caspases, Nrf2, and NF-κB influence this pathway in an indirect way. Various studies also suggest a strong link between Diabetes Mellitus and AD due to the impairment of insulin signaling pathway. Moreover, studies also depict a strong correlation of other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease with insulin resistance. Hence this review will provide an insight into the role of insulin signaling pathway and related molecules as therapeutic targets in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Active form of vitamin D analogue mitigates neurodegenerative changes in Alzheimer's disease in rats by targeting Keap1/Nrf2 and MAPK-38p/ERK signaling pathways
The nuclear factor erythroid2-related factor2 (Nrf2), a chief transcriptional regulator of antioxidant response element (ARE), is considered a promising target for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Vitamin D has been recognized to have a crucial role in improving AD cognitive functions. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of active vitamin D analogue, Maxacalcitol, on Keap1-Nrf2 signaling pathway in experimental Alzheimer's disease in rats.
Magnolol alleviates Alzheimer's disease-like pathology in transgenic C. elegans by promoting microglia phagocytosis and the degradation of beta-amyloid through activation of PPAR-γ
This study aims to investigate whether magnolol (MG), a natural neolignane compound, can prevent AD induced by beta-amyloid (Aβ) and the possible mechanisms involved. MG dose-dependently reduces Aβ deposition, toxicity and memory impairment caused by Aβ in transgenic C. elegans. More importantly, these effects are reversed by GW9662, a selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) antagonist. MG is more effective in enhancing PPAR-γ luciferase levels than honokiol (HK). Meanwhile, MG has the potential to bind with the ligand binding domain of PPAR-γ (PPAR-γ-LBD). As expected, MG inhibited the luciferase activity of NF-κB and its target genes of inflammatory cytokines, and this effect was blocked by GW9662. The luciferase activity of Nrf2-ARE expression can be activated by MG and decreased Aβ-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS). The target gene LXR of PPAR-γ is activated by MG, which upregulates ApoE and promotes microglia phagocytosis and the degradation of Aβ, and these effects were also reversed by GW9662. In summary, MG can attenuate Aβ-induced AD and the underlying mechanism is the reduction of inflammation and promotion of phagocytosis and degradation of Aβ, which is dependent on PPAR-γ.
Xanthotoxin and umbelliferone attenuate cognitive dysfunction in a streptozotocin-induced rat model of sporadic Alzheimer's disease: The role of JAK2/STAT3 and Nrf2/HO-1 signalling pathway modulation
The aim of the present study was to assess the neuroprotective effects of xanthotoxin and umbelliferone in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced cognitive dysfunction in rats. Animals were injected intracerebroventricularly (ICV) with STZ (3 mg/kg) once to induce a sporadic Alzheimer's disease (SAD)-like condition. Xanthotoxin or umbelliferone (15 mg/kg, i.p.) were administered 5 hr after ICV-STZ and daily for 20 consecutive days. Xanthotoxin or umbelliferone prevented cognitive deficits in the Morris water maze and object recognition tests. In parallel, xanthotoxin or umbelliferone reduced hippocampal acetylcholinestrase activity and malondialdehyde level. Moreover, xanthotoxin or umbelliferone increased glutathione content. These coumarins also modulated neuronal cell death by reducing the level of proinflammatory cytokines (tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6), inhibiting the overexpression of inflammatory markers (nuclear factor κB [NF-κB] and cyclooxygenase II), and upregulating the expression of NF-κB inhibitor (IκB-α). Interestingly, xanthotoxin diminished phosphorylated JAK2 and phosphorylated STAT3 protein expression, while umbelliferone markedly replenished nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2) and haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1) levels. The current study provides evidence for the protective effect of xanthotoxin and umbelliferone in STZ-induced cognitive dysfunction in rats. This effect may be attributed, at least in part, to inhibiting acetylcholinestrase and attenuating oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and neuronal loss.
Molecular mechanisms in cognitive frailty: potential therapeutic targets for oxygen-ozone treatment
In the last decade, cognitive frailty has gained great attention from the scientific community. It is characterized by high inflammation and oxidant state, endocrine and metabolic alterations, mitochondria dysfunctions and slowdown in regenerative processes and immune system, with a complex and multifactorial aetiology. Although several treatments are available, challenges regarding the efficacy and the costs persist. Here, we proposed an alternative non-pharmacological, non-side-effect, low cost therapy based on anti-inflammation, antioxidant, regenerative and anti-pathogens properties of ozone, through the activation of several molecular mechanisms (Nrf2-ARE, NF-κB, NFAT, AP-1, HIFα). We highlighted how these specific processes could be implicated in cognitive frailty to identify putative therapeutic targets for its treatment. The oxigen-ozone (O-O) therapy has never been tested for cognitive frailty. This work provides thus wide scientific background to build a consistent rationale for testing for the first time this therapy, that could modulate the immune, inflammatory, oxidant, metabolic, endocrine, microbiota and regenerative processes impaired in cognitive frailty. Although insights are needed, the O-O therapy could represent a faster, easier, inexpensive monodomain intervention working in absence of side effects for cognitive frailty.
Neuroprotective Effects of Apocynin and Galantamine During the Chronic Administration of Scopolamine in an Alzheimer's Disease Model
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the most complicated neurodegenerative diseases, and several hypotheses have been associated with its development and progression, such as those involving glucose hypometabolism, the cholinergic system, calcium imbalance, inflammation, oxidative imbalance, microtubule instability, and the amyloid cascade, several of which are related to oxidative stress (free radical generation), which contributes to neuronal death. Therefore, several efforts have been made to establish a sporadic AD model that takes into account these hypotheses. One model that replicates the increase in amyloid beta (Aβ) and oxidative stress in vivo is the scopolamine model. In the present work, the chronic administration (6 weeks) of scopolamine was used to analyze the neuroprotective effects of apocynin and galantamine. The results showed that scopolamine induced cognitive impairment, which was evaluated 24 h after the final dose was administered. In addition, after scopolamine administration, the Aβ and superoxide anion levels were increased, and NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), and nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB) genes were overexpressed. These effects were not observed when either apocynin or galantamine was administered during the last 3 weeks of scopolamine treatment, and although the results from both molecules were related to lower Aβ production and, consequently, lower superoxide anion production, they were likely realized through different pathways. That is, both apocynin and galantamine diminished NADPH oxidase expression, but their effects on transcription factor expression differed. Moreover, experiments in silico showed that galantamine did not interact with the active site of beta secretase, whereas diapocynin, an apocynin metabolite, interacted with the beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme (BACE1) at the catalytic site.
Antioxidative and antiapoptosis: Neuroprotective effects of dauricine in Alzheimer's disease models
Dauricine has been found that has significant neuroprotective effect on Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the mechanism is unclear, so we further investigated the possible mechanism of dauricine on AD.
Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid ameliorates cognitive deficits and reduces amyloid-β levels in APPswe/PS1dE9 mice through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex disease involved oxidative stress and inflammation in its pathogenesis. Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA) is an active triterpenoid compound from extracts of Boswellia serrata, which has been widely used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. The present study was to determine whether AKBA, a novel candidate, could protect against cognitive and neuropathological impairments in AD. We found that AKBA treatment resulted in a significant improvement of learning and memory deficits, a dramatic decrease in cerebral amyloid-β (Aβ) levels and plaque burden, a profound alleviation in oxidative stress and inflammation, and a marked reduction in activated glial cells and synaptic defects in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mice. Furthermore, amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing was remarkably suppressed with AKBA treatment by inhibiting beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) protein expression to produce Aβ in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mice brains. Mechanistically, AKBA modulated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways via increasing nuclear erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression, and via declining phosphorylation of inhibitor of nuclear factor-kappa B alpha (IκBα) and p65. Collectively, our findings provide evidence that AKBA protects neurons against oxidative stress and inflammation in AD, and this neuroprotective effect involves the Nrf2/HO-1 and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathways.
Artemether Activation of AMPK/GSK3(ser9)/Nrf2 Signaling Confers Neuroprotection towards Amyloid-Induced Neurotoxicity in 3xTg Alzheimer's Mouse Model
Alzheimer's disease is a severe neurodegenerative disease. Multiple factors involving neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid- plaques lead to the progression of the AD, generated by aggregated hyperphosphorylated Tau protein. Inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and oxidative stress play a significant role in the progression of AD. It has been therefore suggested that the multifactorial nature of AD pathogenesis requires the design of antioxidant drugs with a broad spectrum of neuroprotective activities. For this reason, the use of natural products, characterized by multiple pharmacological properties is advantageous as AD-modifying drugs over the single-targeted chemicals. Artemether, a peroxide sesquiterpenoid lipid-soluble compound, has been used in the clinic as an antimalarial drug. Also, it exhibits potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. Here, we report the neuroprotective effects of Artemether towards A-induced neurotoxicity in neuronal cell cultures. A temporal correlation was found between Artemether neuroprotection towards A-induced neurotoxicity and AMPK/GSK3 phosphorylation activity and increased expression of the activated Nrf2 signaling pathway. In 3xTg-AD mice, Artemether attenuated learning and memory deficits, inhibited cortical neuronal apoptosis and glial activation, inhibited oxidative stress through decrease of lipid peroxidation and increased expression of SOD, and reduced A deposition and tau protein phosphorylation. Moreover, in 3xTg-AD mice, Artemether induced phosphorylation of the AMPK/GSK3 pathway which activated Nrf2, increasing the level of antioxidant protein HO-1. These activities probably produced the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects responsible for the neuroprotective effects of Artemether in the 3xTg-AD mouse model. These findings propose Artemether as a new drug for the treatment of AD disease.
Coniferaldehyde attenuates Alzheimer's pathology activation of Nrf2 and its targets
: Alzheimer's disease (AD) currently lacks a cure. Because substantial neuronal damage usually occurs before AD is advanced enough for diagnosis, the best hope for disease-modifying AD therapies likely relies on early intervention or even prevention, and targeting multiple pathways implicated in early AD pathogenesis rather than focusing exclusively on excessive production of β-amyloid (Aβ) species. : Coniferaldehyde (CFA), a food flavoring and agonist of NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), was selected by multimodal screening, followed by investigation of several downstream effects potentially involved. Furthermore, in the APP/PS1 AD mouse model, the therapeutic effects of CFA (0.2 mmol kgd) were tested beginning at 3 months of age. Behavioral phenotypes related to learning and memory capacity, brain pathology and biochemistry, including Aβ transport, were assessed at different time intervals. : CFA promoted neuron viability and showed potent neuroprotective effects, especially on mitochondrial structure and functions. In addition, CFA greatly enhanced the brain clearance of Aβ in both free and extracellular vesicle (EV)-contained Aβ forms. In the APP/PS1 mouse model, CFA effectively abolished brain Aβ deposits and reduced the level of toxic soluble Aβ peptides, thus eliminating AD-like pathological changes in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex and preserving learning and memory capacity of the mice. : The experimental evidence overall indicated that Nrf2 activation may contribute to the potent anti-AD effects of CFA. With an excellent safety profile, further clinical investigation of coniferaldehyde might bring hope for AD prevention/therapy.
PL201, a Reported Rhamnoside Against Alzheimer's Disease Pathology, Alleviates Neuroinflammation and Stimulates Nrf2 Signaling
Neuroinflammation induced by overactivated glia cells is believed to be a major hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and a hopeful target against AD. A rhamnoside PL201 was previously reported to promote neurogenesis and ameliorate AD, and in this study, we revealed that PL201 also significantly reduced accumulation of the activated microglia and proinflammatory cytokines in APP/PS1 mice. , PL201 consistently suppressed the microglia induction of proinflammatory cytokines after stimulation with lipopolysaccharides and Aβ42. Further mechanistic studies demonstrated that PL201 considerably enhanced the expression level and the nuclear translocation of Nrf2, a key regulator of neuroinflammation. Moreover, PL201 effectively stimulated Nrf2 signaling cascade, including upregulation of HO-1 and downregulation of NF-κB pathway. Thus, our findings indicated the anti-neuroinflammatory effect by PL201 and suggested that PL201 or the like, with multiple functions such as neurogenesis, mitochondria maintenance, and anti-neuroinflammation, could be a promising candidate in AD treatment.
Effect of Quercetin on PC12 Alzheimer's Disease Cell Model Induced by A and Its Mechanism Based on Sirtuin1/Nrf2/HO-1 Pathway
This study is aimed at studying the effect of quercetin on the Alzheimer disease cell model induced by A in PC12 cells and its mechanism of action.