Indexed on: 07 Jun '13Published on: 07 Jun '13Published in: Human molecular genetics
Bioenergetic dysfunction occurs in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a clinical syndrome that frequently precedes symptomatic AD. In this study, we modeled AD and MCI bioenergetic dysfunction by transferring mitochondria from MCI, AD and control subject platelets to mtDNA-depleted SH-SY5Y cells. Bioenergetic fluxes and bioenergetics-related infrastructures were characterized in the resulting cytoplasmic hybrid (cybrid) cell lines. Relative to control cybrids, AD and MCI cybrids showed changes in oxygen consumption, respiratory coupling and glucose utilization. AD and MCI cybrids had higher ADP/ATP and lower NAD+/NADH ratios. AD and MCI cybrids exhibited differences in proteins that monitor, respond to or regulate cell bioenergetic fluxes including HIF1α, PGC1α, SIRT1, AMPK, p38 MAPK and mTOR. Several endpoints suggested mitochondrial mass increased in the AD cybrid group and probably to a lesser extent in the MCI cybrid group, and that the mitochondrial fission-fusion balance shifted towards increased fission in the AD and MCI cybrids. As many of the changes we observed in AD and MCI cybrid models are also seen in AD subject brains, we conclude reduced bioenergetic function is present during very early AD, is not brain-limited and induces protean retrograde responses that likely have both adaptive and mal-adaptive consequences.