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Defective mitochondrial respiration, altered dNTP pools and reduced AP endonuclease 1 activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of Alzheimer's disease patients

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  • Scott Maynard
  • Anne-Mette Hejl
  • Thuan-Son T Dinh
  • Guido Keijzers
  • Åse M Hansen
  • Claus Desler
  • Maria Moreno-Villanueva
  • Alexander Bürkle
  • Lene J Rasmussen
  • Gunhild Waldemar
  • Vilhelm Bohr
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AIMS: Accurate biomarkers for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are badly needed. Recent reports suggest that dysfunctional mitochondria and DNA damage are associated with AD development. In this report, we measured various cellular parameters, related to mitochondrial bioenergetics and DNA damage, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of AD and control participants, for biomarker discovery.

METHODS: PBMCs were isolated from 53 patients with AD of mild to moderate degree and 30 age-matched healthy controls. Tests were performed on the PBMCs from as many of these participants as possible. We measured glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration fluxes using the Seahorse Bioscience flux analyzer, mitochondrial ROS production using flow cytometry, dNTP levels by way of a DNA polymerization assay, DNA strand breaks using the Fluorometric detection of Alkaline DNA Unwinding (FADU) assay, and APE1 incision activity (in cell lysates) on a DNA substrate containing an AP site (to estimate DNA repair efficiency).

RESULTS: In the PBMCs of AD patients, we found reduced basal mitochondrial oxygen consumption, reduced proton leak, higher dATP level, and lower AP endonuclease 1 activity, depending on adjustments for gender and/or age.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals impaired mitochondrial respiration, altered dNTP pools and reduced DNA repair activity in PBMCs of AD patients, thus suggesting that these biochemical activities may be useful as biomarkers for AD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging
Volume7
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)793-815
Number of pages23
ISSN1945-4589
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

ID: 45962277