Amyloid-β Pathology-Specific Cytokine Secretion Suppresses Neuronal Mitochondrial Metabolism

Madison K. Kuhn, Rebecca M. Fleeman, Lynne M. Beidler, Amanda M. Snyder, Dennis C. Chan, Elizabeth A. Proctor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Neuroinflammation and metabolic dysfunction are early alterations in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain that are thought to contribute to disease onset and progression. Glial activation due to protein deposition results in cytokine secretion and shifts in brain metabolism, which have been observed in AD patients. However, the mechanism by which this immunometabolic feedback loop can injure neurons and cause neurodegeneration remains unclear. Methods: We used Luminex XMAP technology to quantify hippocampal cytokine concentrations in the 5xFAD mouse model of AD at milestone timepoints in disease development. We used partial least squares regression to build cytokine signatures predictive of disease progression, as compared to healthy aging in wild-type littermates. We applied the disease-defining cytokine signature to wild-type primary neuron cultures and measured downstream changes in gene expression using the NanoString nCounter system and mitochondrial function using the Seahorse Extracellular Flux live-cell analyzer. Results: We identified a pattern of up-regulated IFNγ, IP-10/CXCL10, and IL-9 as predictive of advanced disease. When healthy neurons were exposed to these cytokines in proportions found in diseased brain, gene expression of mitochondrial electron transport chain complexes, including ATP synthase, was suppressed. In live cells, basal and maximal mitochondrial respiration were impaired following cytokine stimulation. Conclusions: We identify a pattern of cytokine secretion predictive of progressing amyloid-β pathology in the 5xFAD mouse model of AD that reduces expression of mitochondrial electron transport complexes and impairs mitochondrial respiration in healthy neurons. We establish a mechanistic link between disease-specific immune cues and impaired neuronal metabolism, potentially causing neuronal vulnerability and susceptibility to degeneration in AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-421
Number of pages17
JournalCellular and Molecular Bioengineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

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