Transient cerebral ischemia promotes brain mitochondrial dysfunction and exacerbates cognitive impairments in young 5xFAD mice

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© 2015 Lu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is heterogeneous and multifactorial neurological disorder; and the risk factors of AD still remain elusive. Recent studies have highlighted the role of vascular factors in promoting the progression of AD and have suggested that ischemic events increase the incidence of AD. However, the detailed mechanisms linking ischemic insult to the progression of AD is still largely undetermined. In this study, we have established a transient cerebral ischemia model on young 5xFAD mice and their non-transgenic (nonTg) littermates by the transient occlusion of bilateral common carotid arteries. We have found that transient cerebral ischemia significantly exacerbates brain mitochondrial dysfunction including mitochondrial respiration deficits, oxidative stress as well as suppressed levels of mitochondrial fusion proteins including optic atrophy 1 (OPA1) and mitofusin 2 (MFN2) in young 5xFAD mice resulting in aggravated spatial learning and memory. Intriguingly, transient cerebral ischemia did not induce elevation in the levels of cortical or mitochondrial Amyloid beta (Aβ)1-40 or 1-42 levels in 5xFAD mice. In addition, the glucose- and oxygen-deprivation-induced apoptotic neuronal death in Aβ-treated neurons was significantly mitigated by mitochondria-targeted antioxidant mitotempo which suppresses mitochondrial superoxide levels. Therefore, the simplest interpretation of our results is that young 5xFAD mice with pre-existing AD-like mitochondrial dysfunction are more susceptible to the effects of transient cerebral ischemia; and ischemic events may exacerbate dementia and worsen the outcome of AD patients by exacerbating mitochondrial dysfunction.




Lu, L., Guo, L., Gauba, E., Tian, J., Wang, L., Tandon, N., … Du, H. (2015). Transient cerebral ischemia promotes brain mitochondrial dysfunction and exacerbates cognitive impairments in young 5xFAD mice. PLoS ONE, 10(12).

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