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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2015 Aug;35(8):1348-57. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2015.58. Epub 2015 Apr 8.

Amyloid β 1-42 induces hypometabolism in human stem cell-derived neuron and astrocyte networks.

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Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, James Black Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.
Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than 35 million people worldwide. Brain hypometabolism is a major feature of AD, appearing decades before cognitive decline and pathologic lesions. To date, the majority of studies on hypometabolism in AD have used transgenic animal models or imaging studies of the human brain. As it is almost impossible to validate these findings using human tissue, alternative models are required. In this study, we show that human stem cell-derived neuron and astrocyte cultures treated with oligomers of amyloid beta 1-42 (Aβ1-42) also display a clear hypometabolism, particularly with regard to utilization of substrates such as glucose, pyruvate, lactate, and glutamate. In addition, a significant increase in the glycogen content of cells was also observed. These changes were accompanied by changes in NAD(+)/NADH, ATP, and glutathione levels, suggesting a disruption in the energy-redox axis within these cultures. The high energy demands associated with neuronal functions such as memory formation and protection from oxidative stress put these cells at particular risk from Aβ-induced hypometabolism. Further research using this model may elucidate the mechanisms associated with Aβ-induced hypometabolism.

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