mTOR in Alzheimer disease and its earlier stages: Links to oxidative damage in the progression of this dementing disorder

M. Perluigi, F. Di Domenico, E. Barone, D. A. Butterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia in the elderly population and has worldwide impact. The etiology of the disease is complex and results from the confluence of multiple mechanisms ultimately leading to neuronal loss and cognitive decline. Among risk factors, aging is the most relevant and accounts for several pathogenic events that contribute to disease-specific toxic mechanisms. Accumulating evidence linked the alterations of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a serine/threonine protein kinase playing a key role in the regulation of protein synthesis and degradation, to age-dependent cognitive decline and pathogenesis of AD. To date, growing studies demonstrated that aberrant mTOR signaling in the brain affects several pathways involved in energy metabolism, cell growth, mitochondrial function and proteostasis. Recent advances associated alterations of the mTOR pathway with the increased oxidative stress. Disruption of all these events strongly contribute to age-related cognitive decline including AD. The current review discusses the main regulatory roles of mTOR signaling network in the brain, focusing on its role in autophagy, oxidative stress and energy metabolism. Collectively, experimental data suggest that targeting mTOR in the CNS can be a valuable strategy to prevent/slow the progression of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-396
Number of pages15
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Oxidative stress
  • Protein aggregation
  • Proteostasis
  • mTOR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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