Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Beta-amyloid monomers drive up neuronal aerobic glycolysis in response to energy stressors

Research on cerebral glucose metabolism has shown that the aging brain experiences a fall of aerobic glycolysis, and that the age-related loss of aerobic glycolysis may accelerate Alzheimer’s disease pathology. In the healthy brain, aerobic glycolysis, namely the use of glucose outside oxidative phosphorylation, may cover energy demand and increase neuronal resilience to stressors at once. Currently, the drivers of aerobic glycolysis in neurons are unknown. We previously demonstrated that synthetic monomers of Beta-amyloid protein (Ab) enhance glucose uptake in neurons, and that endogenous Ab is required for depolarization-induced glucose uptake in cultured neurons. In this work, we show that cultured cortical neurons increased aerobic glycolysis in response to the inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation by oligomycin or to a kainate pulse. Such an increase was prevented by blocking the endogenous A? tone and re-established by the exogenous addition of synthetic Ab monomers. The activity of mitochondria-bound hexokinase-1 appeared to be necessary for monomers-stimulated aerobic glycolysis during oxidative phosphorylation blockade or kainate excitation. Our data suggest that, through Ab release, neurons coordinate glucose uptake with aerobic glycolysis in response to metabolic stressors. The implications of this new finding are that the age-related drop in aerobic glycolysis and the susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease could be linked to factors interfering with release and functions of Ab monomers.

Aging (Albany, N.Y. Online)
Impact factor
Santangelo R.; Giuffrida M.L.; Satriano C.; Tomasello M.F.; Zimbone S.; Copani A.