Alterations in metabolic pathways and networks in Alzheimer's disease.

Published online

Journal Article

The pathogenic mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) remain largely unknown and clinical trials have not demonstrated significant benefit. Biochemical characterization of AD and its prodromal phase may provide new diagnostic and therapeutic insights. We used targeted metabolomics platform to profile cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from AD (n=40), mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n=36) and control (n=38) subjects; univariate and multivariate analyses to define between-group differences; and partial least square-discriminant analysis models to classify diagnostic groups using CSF metabolomic profiles. A partial correlation network was built to link metabolic markers, protein markers and disease severity. AD subjects had elevated methionine (MET), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), vanillylmandelic acid, xanthosine and glutathione versus controls. MCI subjects had elevated 5-HIAA, MET, hypoxanthine and other metabolites versus controls. Metabolite ratios revealed changes within tryptophan, MET and purine pathways. Initial pathway analyses identified steps in several pathways that appear altered in AD and MCI. A partial correlation network showed total tau most directly related to norepinephrine and purine pathways; amyloid-β (Ab42) was related directly to an unidentified metabolite and indirectly to 5-HIAA and MET. These findings indicate that MCI and AD are associated with an overlapping pattern of perturbations in tryptophan, tyrosine, MET and purine pathways, and suggest that profound biochemical alterations are linked to abnormal Ab42 and tau metabolism. Metabolomics provides powerful tools to map interlinked biochemical pathway perturbations and study AD as a disease of network failure.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kaddurah-Daouk, R; Zhu, H; Sharma, S; Bogdanov, M; Rozen, SG; Matson, W; Oki, NO; Motsinger-Reif, AA; Churchill, E; Lei, Z; Appleby, D; Kling, MA; Trojanowski, JQ; Doraiswamy, PM; Arnold, SE; Pharmacometabolomics Research Network,

Published Date

  • April 9, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 /

Start / End Page

  • e244 -

PubMed ID

  • 23571809

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23571809

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2158-3188

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/tp.2013.18


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States