NOX Activity is increased in mild cognitive impairment

Annadora J. Bruce-Keller, Sunita Gupta, Taryn E. Parrino, Alecia G. Knight, Philip J. Ebenezer, Adam M. Weidner, Harry Levine, Jeffrey N. Keller, William R. Markesbery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


This study was undertaken to investigate the profile of NADPH oxidase (NOX) in the clinical progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Specifically, NOX activity and expression of the regulatory subunit p47phox and the catalytic subunit gp91phox was evaluated in affected (superior and middle temporal gyri) and unaffected (cerebellum) brain regions from a longitudinally followed group of patients. This group included both control and late-stage AD subjects, and also subjects with preclinical AD and with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to evaluate the profile of NOX in the earliest stages of dementia. Data show significant elevations in NOX activity and expression in the temporal gyri of MCI patients as compared with controls, but not in preclinical or late-stage AD samples, and not in the cerebellum. Immunohistochemical evaluations of NOX expression indicate that whereas microglia express high levels of gp91phox, moderate levels of gp91phox also are expressed in neurons. Finally, in vitro experiments showed that NOX inhibition blunted the ability of oligomeric amyloid beta peptides to injure cultured neurons. Collectively, these data show that NOX expression and activity are upregulated specifically in a vulnerable brain region of MCI patients, and suggest that increases in NOX-associated redox pathways in neurons might participate in the early pathogenesis of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1371-1382
Number of pages12
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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