Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that represents the first cause of dementia. Although there has been significant progress in AD research, the actual mechanisms underlying this pathology remain largely unknown. There is increasing evidence that oxidative stress, metabolic alterations, and mitochondrial dysfunction are key players in the development and worsening of AD. As a result, in the past few years, remarkable attempts have been made to develop neuroprotective strategies against the impairment of mitochondrial dynamics and cell redox status. In the present study, we reveal a novel antioxidant K+ channel-independent effect of the M-current inhibitor XE-991 in SH-SY5Y cells differentiated with retinoic acid (RA) and primary rat cortical neurons exposed to the glycolysis inhibitor glyceraldehyde (GA). This experimental approach aimed to create a condition of hypometabolism accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction and redox imbalance, as frequently observed in the beginning stage of the disease. We found that XE-991 exerted a neuroprotective action most likely through the resumption of superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, which was significantly compromised during GA challenge. We also observed that the enhancement of SOD activity was accompanied by a sequence of positive effects; these included the reduction in basal Ca2+ levels within cytoplasmic and mitochondrial compartments, the decrease in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, the modulation of AMPK/mTOR pathway, the recovery of ΔΨm collapse, the increase in the intracellular ATP content and the decrease in amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated form of tau protein (pTau) levels. Collectively, our study reveals an off-target antioxidant effect of XE-991 and paves the way toward the further evaluation of new therapeutic uses of already existing molecules to accelerate the process of developing an effective therapy to counteract AD.
A new K+channel-independent mechanism is involved in the antioxidant effect of XE-991 in an in vitro model of glucose metabolism impairment: implications for Alzheimer’s disease / Piccirillo, Silvia; Preziuso, Alessandra; Amoroso, Salvatore; Serfilippi, Tiziano; Miceli, Francesco; Magi, Simona; Lariccia, Vincenzo. - In: CELL DEATH DISCOVERY. - ISSN 2058-7716. - 8:1(2022). [10.1038/s41420-022-01187-y]