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- Oxidative stress during aging and in Alzheimer's disease : a comparative study of oxidative damage and antioxidant enzymatic activities in mouse models and human brain tissue (2004)
- The hypothesis that oxidative stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was tested by studying oxidative damage, acitvities of antioxidant enzymes and levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in several models. To this end, mouse models transgenic for mutant presenilin (PS1M146L) as well as mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP) and human post mortem brain tissue from sporadic AD patients and age-matched controls were studied. Aging leads to an upregulation of antioxidant enzyme activities of Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR) in brains from C57BL/6J mice. Simultaneously, levels of lipid peroxidation products malondialdehyde MDA and 4-hydroxynonenal HNE were reduced. Additionally, pronounced gender effects were observed, as female mice display better protection against oxidative damage due to higher activity of GPx. Hence, antioxidant enzymes provide an important contribution to the protection against oxidative damage. In PS1M146L transgenic mice oxidative damage was only detectable in 19-22 months old mice, arguing for an additive effect of aging and the PS1 mutation. Both HNE levels in brain tissue as well as mitochondrial and cytosolic levels of ROS in splenic lymphocytes were increased in PS1M146L mice. Antioxidant defences were unaltered. In PDGF-APP and PDGF-APP/PS1 trangenic mice no changes in any of the parameters studied were observed in any age group. In contrast, Thy1-APP transgenic mice display oxidative damage as assessed by increased HNE levels. Reduced activity of Cu/Zn-SOD may explain this observation. Additionally, gender modified this effect, as female APP transgenic mice display higher b-secretase cleavage of APP and simultaneously increased HNE levels and reduced Cu/Zn-SOD activity earlier than male mice, i.e. from an age of 3 months and before the formation of Ab plaques. Reduced Cu/Zn-SOD activity was also found in another APP transgenic mouse model, in APP23 mice. In post mortem brain tissue from sporadic AD patients activities of Cu/Zn-SOD and GPx were however increased, and changes were most pronounced in temporal cortex. Simultaneously, levels of HNE but not MDA were elevated. Additionally, in vitro stimulation of lipid peroxidation led to increased MDA formation in samples from AD patients, indicating that increased activity of Cu/Zn-SOD and GPx are insufficient to protect against oxidative damage. Furthermore, the observed changes were subject to a gender effect, as samples from female AD patients showed increased activities of Cu/Zn-SOD and GPx as well as increased HNE levels, indicating that brain tissue from females is more sensitive towards oxidative damage. Levels of soluble Ab1-40 were positively correlated with with MDA levels and activities of Cu/Zn-SOD and GPx. Additionally, levels of lipid peroxidation products MDA and HNE are gene-dose-dependently modulated by the Apolipoprotein E4 allele, the most important genetic risk factor for AD known so far. While MDA levels were negatively correlated with MMSE scores, a measure for cognitive function, HNE levels were highest in AD patients with moderate cognitive impairment. Hence, increased HNE levels may play an important role in neurodegenerative events at an early disease stage. In summary, oxidative damage, as assessed by increased HNE levels, could be detected in sporadic AD patients and in different transgenic mouse models. The results of this thesis therefore support the further research of pharmacological targets aiming at augmentation of antioxidant defences for therapy or prophylaxis of Alzheimer’s disease.