Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. Accumulation of Aβ peptides in the brain has been suggested as the cause of AD (amyloid cascade hypothesis); however, the mechanism for the abnormal accumulation of Aβ in the brains of AD patients remains unclear. A plethora of evidence has emerged to support a link between metabolic disorders and AD. This study was designed to examine the relationship between energy status and Aβ production. Neuro 2a neuroblastoma cells overexpressing human amyloid precursor protein 695 (APP cells) were cultured in media containing different concentrations of glucose and agonist or antagonist of AMP-activated-protein-kinase (AMPK), a metabolic master sensor. The results showed that concentrations of glucose in the culture media were negatively associated with the activation statuses of AMPK in APP cells, but positively correlated with the levels of secreted Aβ. Modulating AMPK activities affected the production of Aβ. If APP cells were cultured in high glucose medium (i.e., AMPK was inactive), stimulation of AMPK activity decreased the production levels of Aβ. On the contrary, if APP cells were incubated in medium containing no glucose (i.e., AMPK was activated), inhibition of AMPK activity largely increased Aβ production. As AMPK activation is a common defect in metabolic abnormalities, our study supports the premise that metabolic disorders may aggravate AD pathogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry