Mitochondrial bioenergetic deficit precedes Alzheimer's pathology in female mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

Jia Yao, Ronald W. Irwin, Liqin Zhao, Jon Nilsen, Ryan T. Hamilton, Roberta Diaz Brinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

747 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed to play a pivotal role in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). To address whether mitochondrial dysfunction precedes the development of AD pathology, we conducted mitochondrial functional analyses in female triple transgenic Alzheimer's mice (3xTg-AD) and age-matched nontransgenic (nonTg). Mitochondrial dysfunction in the 3xTg-AD brain was evidenced by decreased mitochondrial respiration and decreased pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) protein level and activity as early as 3 months of age. 3xTg-AD mice also exhibited increased oxidative stress as manifested by increased hydrogen peroxide production and lipid peroxidation. Mitochondrial amyloid beta (Aβ) level in the 3xTg-AD mice was significantly increased at 9 months and temporally correlated with increased level of Aβ binding to alcohol dehydrogenase (ABAD). Embryonic neurons derived from 3xTg-AD mouse hippocampus exhibited significantly decreased mitochondrial respiration and increased glycolysis. Results of these analyses indicate that compromised mitochondrial function is evident in embryonic hippocampal neurons, continues unabated in females throughout the reproductive period, and is exacerbated during reproductive senescence. In nontransgenic control mice, oxidative stress was coincident with reproductive senescence and accompanied by a significant decline in mitochondrial function. Reproductive senescence in the 3xTg-AD mouse brain markedly exacerbated mitochondrial dysfunction. Collectively, the data indicate significant mitochondrial dysfunction occurs early in AD pathogenesis in a female AD mouse model. Mitochondrial dysfunction provides a plausible mechanistic rationale for the hypometabolism in brain that precedes AD diagnosis and suggests therapeutic targets for prevention of AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14670-14675
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 25 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • ABAD
  • Aging
  • Bioenergetics
  • Brain hypometabolism
  • Mitochondria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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