Our preliminary data indicate that miR-107 plays an important role in AD pathogenesis. Fibrates (PPAR agonists) increase miR-107 expression, and down-regulated BACE1 protein, an essential enzyme contributing to AD, in cultured H4 cells. We plan to test our hypotheses and evaluate a potential therapy for Alzheimer's disease (AD) based on this novel microRNA (miRNA) pathway. Preclinical work in this area using animal models of AD has been thwarted by the species-specific hepatotoxicity not seen in humans. Thus, human clinical trials are necessary to test this important hypothesis on the disease modifying properties of fibrates in AD. Specifically, we propose an evaluation of the safety and efficacy of gemfibrozil administration on micro-RNA modulation of AD mechanisms in a parallel-design, double- blind, placebo-controlled study. We will evaluate both safety and target engagement of miR- 107 by gemfibrozil as well as alterations in relevant AD biomarkers. Gemfibrozil is a safe, orally- administered, FDA-approved drug for treatment of hyperlipidemia in aged individuals. The FDA has indicated IND exemption status for these studies. This study is designed to provide the foundation for future large-scale Phase II &III studies of fibrates in AD and AD prevention trials and represents the first attempt we are aware of designed to modulate disease progression in AD through influences on novel micro-RNA pathways. As such the proposed study represents a cutting-edge, data-driven, exploration of a novel disease relevant pathway that may hold promise for our global efforts targeting this major health priority among developing and developed nations.

Public Health Relevance

Widespread recognition of the current and projected impact of the AD epidemic has spurred research into novel drug discovery efforts. This proposal seeks to further progress in this area, investigating the novel actions of PPAR agonists as a disease modifying therapy in AD through their modulation of novel miRNA pathways that influence A production, repurposing an existing drug therapy. As such, the proposed study represents a cutting-edge, data-driven, low-cost, exploration of a novel disease relevant pathway that may hold promise for our global efforts targeting this major health priority among developing and developed nations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Ryan, Laurie M
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University of Kentucky
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