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    Mitochondrial dysfunction has a recognised role in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathophysiology. Cerebral perfusion becomes increasingly inefficient throughout ageing, leading to unbalanced mitochondrial dynamics. This effect is exaggerated by amyloid β (Aβ) and phosphorylated tau, two hallmark proteins of AD pathology. A neuroprotective role for the adipose-derived hormone, leptin, has been demonstrated in neuronal cells. However, its effects with relation to mitochondrial function in AD remain largely unknown. To address this question, we have used both a glucose-serum-deprived (CGSD) model of ischaemic stroke in SH-SY5Y cells and a Aβ1-42 -treatment model of AD in differentiated hippocampal cells. Using a combination of 5,5',6,6'-tetrachloro-1,1',3,3'-tetraethylbenzimidazolylcarbocyanine iodide (JC-1) and MitoRed staining techniques, we show that leptin prevents depolarisation of the mitochondrial membrane and excessive mitochondrial fragmentation induced by both CGSD and Aβ1-42 . Thereafter, we used ELISAs and a number of activity assays to reveal the biochemical underpinnings of these processes. Specifically, leptin was seen to inhibit up-regulation of the mitochondrial fission protein Fis1 and down-regulation of the mitochondrial fusion protein, Mfn2. Furthermore, leptin was seen to up-regulate the expression and activity of the antioxidant enzyme, monoamine oxidase B. Herein we provide the first demonstration that leptin is sufficient to protect against aberrant mitochondrial dynamics and resulting loss of function induced by both CGSD and Aβ1-42 . We conclude that the established neuroprotective actions of leptin may be facilitated through regulation of mitochondrial dynamics. © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Society for Neurochemistry.


    Ying Cheng, Matthew Buchan, Karina Vitanova, Laura Aitken, Frank J Gunn-Moore, Rona R Ramsay, Gayle Doherty. Neuroprotective actions of leptin facilitated through balancing mitochondrial morphology and improving mitochondrial function. Journal of neurochemistry. 2020 Sep;155(2):191-206

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    PMID: 32157699

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