Lymphocyte mitochondria: Toward identification of peripheral biomarkers in the progression of Alzheimer disease

Rukhsana Sultana, Mauro Baglioni, Roberta Cecchetti, Jian Cai, Jon B. Klein, Patrizia Bastiani, Carmelinda Ruggiero, Patrizia Mecocci, D. Allan Butterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Alzheimer disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative condition. AD is histopathologically characterized by the presence of three main hallmarks: senile plaques (rich in amyloid-β peptide), neuronal fibrillary tangles (rich in phosphorylated tau protein), and synapse loss. However, definitive biomarkers for this devastating disease in living people are still lacking. In this study, we show that levels of oxidative stress markers are significantly increased in the mitochondria isolated from lymphocytes of subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) compared to cognitively normal individuals. Further, an increase in mitochondrial oxidative stress in MCI is associated with MMSE score, vitamin E components, and β-carotene. Further, a proteomics approach showed that alterations in the levels of thioredoxin-dependent peroxide reductase, myosin light polypeptide 6, and ATP synthase subunit β might be important in the progression and pathogenesis of AD. Increased understanding of oxidative stress and protein alterations in easily obtainable peripheral tissues will be helpful in developing biomarkers to combat this devastating disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-606
Number of pages12
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by a grant from the NIH to D.A.B. ( AG-05119 ) and by a grant from the Italian Ministry of Research ( PRIN 20078TC4E5 ) to P.M.


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Free radicals
  • Lymphocytes
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress
  • Peripheral biomarker
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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