King's College London

Research portal

Iron dyshomeostasis, lipid peroxidation and perturbed expression of cystine/glutamate antiporter in Alzheimer's disease: Evidence of ferroptosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Azhaar Ashraf, Jérôme Jeandriens, Harold G Parkes, Po-Wah So

Original languageEnglish
Article number101494
JournalRedox Biology
Early online date5 Mar 2020
Accepted/In press4 Mar 2020
E-pub ahead of print5 Mar 2020
PublishedMay 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


King's Authors


Iron dyshomeostasis is implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) alongside β-amyloid and tau pathologies. Despite the recent discovery of ferroptosis, an iron-dependent form cell death, hitherto, in vivo evidence of ferroptosis in AD is lacking. The present study uniquely adopts an integrated multi-disciplinary approach, combining protein (Western blot) and elemental analysis (total reflection X-ray fluorescence) with metabolomics (1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy) to identify iron dyshomeostasis and ferroptosis, and possible novel interactions with metabolic dysfunction in age-matched male cognitively normal (CN) and AD post-mortem brain tissue (n = 7/group). Statistical analysis was used to compute differences between CN and AD, and to examine associations between proteins, elements and/or metabolites. Iron dyshomeostasis with elevated levels of ferritin, in the absence of increased elemental iron, was observed in AD. Moreover, AD was characterised by enhanced expression of the light-chain subunit of the cystine/glutamate transporter (xCT) and lipid peroxidation, reminiscent of ferroptosis, alongside an augmented excitatory glutamate to inhibitory GABA ratio. Protein, element and metabolite associations also greatly differed between CN and AD suggesting widespread metabolic dysregulation in AD. We demonstrate iron dyshomeostasis, upregulated xCT (impaired glutathione metabolism) and lipid peroxidation in AD, suggesting anti-ferroptotic therapies may be efficacious in AD.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454