Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. The deterioration of subcellular organelles, including the mitochondria, is another major ultrastructural characteristic of AD pathogenesis, in addition to amyloid plaque deposition. However, the three-dimensional (3-D) study of mitochondrial structural alteration in AD remains poorly understood. Therefore, ultrastructural analysis, 3-D electron tomography, and immunogold electron microscopy were performed in the present study to clarify the abnormal structural alterations in mitochondria caused by the progression of AD in APP/PSEN1 transgenic mice, expressing human amyloid precursor protein, as a model for AD. Amyloid 𝛽 (A𝛽) plaques accumulated and dystrophic neurites (DN) developed in the hippocampus of transgenic AD mouse brains. We also identified the loss of peroxiredoxin 3, an endogenous cytoprotective antioxidant enzyme and the accumulation of A𝛽 in the hippocampal mitochondria of transgenic mice, which differs from those in age-matched wild-type mice. The mitochondria in A𝛽 plaque-detected regions were severely disrupted, and the patterns of ultrastructural abnormalities were classified into three groups: disappearance of cristae, swelling of cristae, and bulging of the outer membrane. These results demonstrated that morpho-functional alterations of mitochondria and AD progression are closely associated and may be beneficial in investigating the function of mitochondria in AD pathogenesis.
Volume 44 | Issue 6
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