Humic acid (HA) is a possible etiological factor associated with for several vascular diseases. It is known that vascular risk factors can directly increase the susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is a neurodegenerative disorder due to accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) peptide in the brain. However, the role that HA contributes to Aβ-induced cytotoxicity has not been demonstrated. In the present study, we demonstrate that HA exhibits a synergistic effect enhancing Aβ-induced cytotoxicity in cultured human SK-N-MC neuronal cells. Furthermore, this deterioration was mediated through the activation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress by stimulating PERK and eIF2α phosphorylation. We also observed HA and Aβ-induced cytotoxicity is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction caused by down-regulation of the Sirt1/PGC1α pathway, while in contrast, treating the cells with the ER stress inhibitor Salubrinal, or over-expression of Sirt1 significantly reduced loss of cell viability by HA and Aβ. Our findings suggest a new mechanism by which HA can deteriorate Aβ-induced cytotoxicity through modulation of ER stress, which may provide significant insights into the pathogenesis of AD co-occurring with vascular injury.
Li, H. H., Lu, F. J., Hung, H. C., Liu, G. Y., Lai, T. J., & Lin, C. L. (2015). Humic acid increases amyloid β-induced cytotoxicity by induction of ER stress in human SK-N-MC neuronal cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 16(5), 10426–10442. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160510426