Widespread cell stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in early Alzheimers Disease

A. Venkataraman, A. Mansur, G. Rizzo, C. Bishop, Y. Lewis, E. Kocagoncu, A. Lingford-Hughes, M. Huiban, J. Passchier, J. Rowe, H. Tsukada, D. Brooks, L. Martarello, R. A. Comley, L. Chen, A. J. Schwarz, R. Hargreaves, R. N. Gunn, E. A. I. Rabiner, P. M. Matthews

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


Cell stress and impaired oxidative phosphorylation are central to mechanisms of synaptic loss and neurodegeneration in the cellular pathology of Alzheimers disease (AD). We quantified the in vivo density of the endoplasmic reticulum stress marker, the sigma 1 receptor (S1R) using [11C]SA4503 PET, as well as that of mitochondrial complex I (MC1) with [18F]BCPP-EF and the pre-synaptic vesicular protein SV2A with [11C]UCB-J in 12 patients with early AD and in 16 cognitively normal controls. We integrated these molecular measures with assessments of regional brain volumes and brain perfusion (CBF) measured with MRI arterial spin labelling. 8 AD patients were followed longitudinally to estimate rates of change with disease progression over 12-18 months. The AD patients showed widespread increases in S1R ([≤] 27%) and regional decreases in MC1 ([≥] -28%), SV2A ([≥] -25%), brain volume ([≥] -23%), and CBF ([≥] -26%). [18F]BCPP-EF PET MC1 density ([≥] -12%) and brain volumes ([≥] -5%) were further reduced at follow up in brain regions consistent with the differences between AD patients and controls at baseline. Exploratory analyses showing associations of MC1, SV2A and S1R density with cognitive changes at baseline and longitudinally with AD, but not in controls, suggested a loss of metabolic functional reserve with disease. Our study thus provides novel in vivo evidence for widespread cellular stress and bioenergetic abnormalities in early AD and that they may be clinically meaningful.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • neurology

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