Program Director/Principal Investigator: Du, Heng Project Description/Abstract Mitochondrial dysfunction and synaptic loss are early pathological features of Alzheimer's disease. Recent studies indicate that mitochondrial alterations in AD underlie A?-mediated synaptic pathology as evidenced by the observations: 1) significant correlation of mitochondrial dysfunction with synaptic loss in AD; and 2) the protection of mitochondria attenuates A?-induced synaptic changes. However, the mechanisms of A?-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and the consequent synaptic damages have not fully delineated. Notably, mitochondria in neurons are heterogeneous in their properties. A sub-group of neuronal mitochondria locating at synapses or namely synaptic mitochondria play a pivotal role in maintaining synaptic activity/function due to their physical proximity to synapses. Thus, to elucidate the mechanisms underlying A?-potentiated synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction is of great significance to deepen our understanding of the synaptic pathology in the pathogenesis of the AD. In the preliminary studies, we have demonstrated that synaptic mitochondria undergo increased propensity towards cyclophilin D (cypD)-mediated mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) in the A? milieu, transgenic AD mice overexpressing A?. Along with these changes, A?-insulted synaptic mitochondria underwent respiration defects. In addition, A? treatment resulted in decreased axonal mitochondrial density and the loss of synapses in cultured hippocampal neurons. As a contrast, these detrimental effects on synaptic mitochondrial and synaptic alterations were significantly attenuated by the blockade of cypD through genetic depletion of cypD.Thus, I have formulated a hypothesis that cypD-mediated mPTP is a potential mechanism underlying A?-induced synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction and synaptic alterations. To address this concept, I will utilize an AD mouse model (APP mice) and a novel genetically manipulated transgenic mouse model (genetic cypD-deficient APP mice) as well as cypD-deficiency hippocampal neuron cultures for the studies proposed in this application. This project contains three aims: 1). to determine the impact of cypD-mediated mPTP on synaptic mitochondrial function in APP mice;2) to determine the impact of cypD-mediated mPTP on synaptic (axonal) mitochondrial dynamics and motility in A? milieus;and 3) to determine whether cypD-mediated synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to A?-induced synaptic alterations in APP mice. Upon the completion of this project, I will determine the involvement of cypD mediated mPTP in A? induced synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction, and the impact of cypD mediated mPTP on synaptic mitochondrial dynamics and motility, and synaptic function as well as animal learning/memory ability in APP/A? overexpressing mice. Finding derived from this study will have positive impact on the development of new therapeutic approaches for AD treatment. This project will also serve as a firm foundation of my scientific career to establish a research direction distinct from my mentors'by the combination of synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction and synaptic alterations in AD. PHS 398/2590 (Rev. 06/09) Page Continuation Format Page

Public Health Relevance

Cyclophilin D mediated mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT) is a deleterious factor that involves in mitochondrial pathology. This project will determine the involvement of cyclophilin D mediated mPT in synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction and the consequent synaptic degeneration in an A? rich environment. PHS 398/2590 (Rev. 06/09) Page Continuation Format Page

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Transition Award (R00)
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Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
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Petanceska, Suzana
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University of Texas-Dallas
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Du, Heng; Guo, Lan; Wu, Xiaoping et al. (2014) Cyclophilin D deficiency rescues A*-impaired PKA/CREB signaling and alleviates synaptic degeneration. Biochim Biophys Acta 1842:2517-27