Disturbances in brain cholesterol metabolism have been linked to Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. A high-cholesterol diet increases fibrillar amyloid β peptide (Aβ) deposition, inflammation, and apoptosis that eventually results in neurodegeneration and learning and memory impairments. In the October 2010 issue of The Journal of Pathology, Lu and colleagues provided a novel and interesting mechanism that explains how quercetin, a flavonoid found at high concentrations in green and black teas, may help to protect against cholesterol-induced neurotoxicity through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a metabolic energy gauge. Further work will be necessary to address whether AMPK may be a potential target to combat neurodegenerative diseases.
This work was supported by grants from Fondo Investigaciones Sanitarias (ML: PS09/01880) and Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (ML: RyC-2007-00211). CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición is an initiative of ISCIII.
Fondo Investigaciones Sanitarias. Grant Number: ML: PS09/01880
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Grant Number: ML: RyC-2007-00211
- AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
- Cholesterol, Dietary
- Enzyme Activation
- Neuroprotective Agents
- Neurotoxicity Syndromes