Simple Summary Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder and represents the most common cause of dementia among elderly people. It is characterized by the deterioration of brain cells and is linked to problems with energy production, cell metabolism, and harmful oxidative stress. Our study focused on two proteins called NCX1 and NCX3, which play a role in controlling calcium and sodium levels in cells. We wanted to understand whether these proteins may be involved in AD development when brain cells are exposed to metabolic impairment. To investigate this, we used a laboratory cell model and treated the cells with a substance called glyceraldehyde (GA) to mimic the metabolic dysfunction seen in AD. We used a technique called RNA interference to silence the expression of either NCX1 or NCX3 in the cells. We found that when NCX3 was silenced, the cells showed improved viability, increased energy production, and reduced damage from oxidative stress. Additionally, the levels of abnormal proteins associated with AD, such as A & beta; and pTau, were decreased. However, silencing NCX1 did not have the same positive effects, except for increased energy production. These findings suggest that targeting NCX3 may be a potential strategy to prevent the development of AD associated with metabolic dysfunction. Considering the paucity of pharmacological therapies, this knowledge could be valuable for identifying new potential treatments for AD. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a widespread neurodegenerative disorder, affecting a large number of elderly individuals worldwide. Mitochondrial dysfunction, metabolic alterations, and oxidative stress are regarded as cooperating drivers of the progression of AD. In particular, metabolic impairment amplifies the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), resulting in detrimental alterations to intracellular Ca2+ regulatory processes. The Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) proteins are key pathophysiological determinants of Ca2+ and Na+ homeostasis, operating at both the plasma membrane and mitochondria levels. Our study aimed to explore the role of NCX1 and NCX3 in retinoic acid (RA) differentiated SH-SY5Y cells treated with glyceraldehyde (GA), to induce impairment of the default glucose metabolism that typically precedes A & beta; deposition or Tau protein phosphorylation in AD. By using an RNA interference-mediated approach to silence either NCX1 or NCX3 expression, we found that, in GA-treated cells, the knocking-down of NCX3 ameliorated cell viability, increased the intracellular ATP production, and reduced the oxidative damage. Remarkably, NCX3 silencing also prevented the enhancement of A & beta; and pTau levels and normalized the GA-induced decrease in NCX reverse-mode activity. By contrast, the knocking-down of NCX1 was totally ineffective in preventing GA-induced cytotoxicity except for the increase in ATP synthesis. These findings indicate that NCX3 and NCX1 may differently influence the evolution of AD pathology fostered by glucose metabolic dysfunction, thus providing a potential target for preventing AD.
Exploring the Role of NCX1 and NCX3 in an In Vitro Model of Metabolism Impairment: Potential Neuroprotective Targets for Alzheimer's Disease / Preziuso, Alessandra; Piccirillo, Silvia; Cerqueni, Giorgia; Serfilippi, Tiziano; Terenzi, Valentina; Vinciguerra, Antonio; Orciani, Monia; Amoroso, Salvatore; Magi, Simona; Lariccia, Vincenzo. - In: BIOLOGY. - ISSN 2079-7737. - 12:7(2023), p. 1005. [10.3390/biology12071005]