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J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;28(3):655-66. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-111244.

Age-dependent and tissue-related glutathione redox status in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272, USA.


Glutathione plays an essential role in the intracellular antioxidant defense against oxidant radicals, especially the •OH radical. To understand the early and progressive cellular changes in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD), we investigated reduced glutathione/oxidized glutathione (GSH/GSSG) status in a double mutated AD transgenic mouse model (B6.Cg-Tg), which carries Swedish amyloid-β protein precursor mutation (AβPPswe) and exon 9 deletion of the PSEN1 gene. In this study, we quantified and compared both GSH/GSSG and mixed-disulfide (Pr-SSG) levels in blood samples and three anatomic positions in brain (cerebrum, cerebellum, and hippocampus) at 3 age stages (1, 5, and 11 months) of AD transgenic (Tg)/wild type mice. The present study was designed to characterize and provide insight into the glutathione redox state of both brain tissues and blood samples at different disease stages of this Tg model. The level of Pr-SSG increased in all AD brain tissues and blood compared with controls regardless of age. The GSH/GSSG ratio in AD-Tg brain tissue started at a higher value at 1 month, fell at the transitional period of 5 months, right before the onset of amyloid plaques, followed by an increase in GSSG and associated decrease of GSH/GSSG at 11 months. These results suggest that formation of Pr-SSG may be an early event, preceding amyloid plaque appearance, and the data further implies that tissue thiol redox is tightly regulated. Notably, the high basal levels of mixed-disulfides in hippocampus suggest a potential for increased oxidative damage under oxidizing conditions and increased GSSG in this vulnerable region.

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