Combined metabolic activators improve metabolic functions in the animal models of neurodegenerative diseases

TÜRKEZ H., Altay O., YILDIRIM S., Li X., Yang H., BAYRAM C., ...More

Life Sciences, vol.314, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 314
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.lfs.2022.121325
  • Journal Name: Life Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chimica, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Neurodegenerative diseases, Combined metabolic activators, Genome-scale metabolic model, Animal model
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs), including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), are associated with metabolic abnormalities. Integrative analysis of human clinical data and animal studies have contributed to a better understanding of the molecular and cellular pathways involved in the progression of NDDs. Previously, we have reported that the combined metabolic activators (CMA), which include the precursors of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and glutathione can be utilized to alleviate metabolic disorders by activating mitochondrial metabolism. Methods: We first analysed the brain transcriptomics data from AD patients and controls using a brain-specific genome-scale metabolic model (GEM). Then, we investigated the effect of CMA administration in animal models of AD and PD. We evaluated pathological and immunohistochemical findings of brain and liver tissues. Moreover, PD rats were tested for locomotor activity and apomorphine-induced rotation. Findings: Analysis of transcriptomics data with GEM revealed that mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the underlying molecular pathways of AD. In animal models of AD and PD, we showed significant damage in the high-fat diet groups' brain and liver tissues compared to the chow diet. The histological analyses revealed that hyperemia, degeneration and necrosis in neurons were improved by CMA administration in both AD and PD animal models. These findings were supported by immunohistochemical evidence of decreased immunoreactivity in neurons. In parallel to the improvement in the brain, we also observed dramatic metabolic improvement in the liver tissue. CMA administration also showed a beneficial effect on behavioural functions in PD rats. Interpretation: Overall, we showed that CMA administration significantly improved behavioural scores in parallel with the neurohistological outcomes in the AD and PD animal models and is a promising treatment for improving the metabolic parameters and brain functions in NDDs.