Protective effects of mitophagy enhancers against amyloid beta-induced mitochondrial and synaptic toxicities in Alzheimer disease.
Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Sep 9. Epub 2021 Sep 9. PMID: 34505123
The purpose of our study is to determine the protective effects of mitophagy enhancers against mutant APP and amyloid beta (Aβ)-induced mitochondrial and synaptic toxicities in Alzheimer's disease (ad). Over two decades of research from our lab and others revealed that mitochondrial abnormalities are largely involved in the pathogenesis of both early-onset and late-onset ad. Emerging studies from our lab and others revealed that impaired clearance of dead or dying mitochondria is an early event in the disease process. Based on these changes, it has been proposed that mitophagy enhancers are potential therapeutic candidates to treat patients with ad. In the current study, we optimized doses of mitophagy enhancers urolithin A, actinonin, tomatidine, nicotinamide riboside in immortalized mouse primary hippocampal (HT22) neurons. We transfected HT22 cells with mutant APP cDNA and treated with mitophagy enhancers and assessed mRNA and protein levels of mitochondrial dynamics, biogenesis, mitophagy and synaptic genes, cell survival; assessed mitochondrial respiration in mAPP-HT22 cells treated and untreated with mitophagy enhancers. We also assessed mitochondrial morphology in mAPP-HT22 cells treated and untreated with mitophagy enhancers. Mutant APP-HT22 cells showed increased fission, decreased fusion, synaptic&mitophagy genes, reduced cell survival and defective mitochondrial respiration, and excessively fragmented and reduced length of mitochondria. However, these events were reversed in mitophagy enhancers treated mutant mAPP-HT22 cells. Cell survival was significantly increased, mRNA and protein levels of mitochondrial fusion, synaptic and mitophagy genes were increased, mitochondrial number is reduced,&mitochondrial length is increased, and mitochondrial fragmentation is reduced in mitophagy enhancers treated mutant APP-HT22 cells. Further, urolithin A showed strongest protective effects against mutant APP and Aβ-induced mitochondrial and synaptic toxicities in ad. Based on these findings, we cautiously propose that mitophagy enhancers are promising therapeutic drugs to treat mitophagy in patients with ad.