Inhibition of Drp1 ameliorates synaptic depression, Aβ deposition, and cognitive impairment in an alzheimer’s disease model Academic Article uri icon


  • Excessive mitochondrial fission is a prominent early event and contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction, synaptic failure, and neuronal cell death in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, it remains to be determined whether inhibition of excessive mitochondrial fission is beneficial in mammal models of AD. To determine whether dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), a key regulator of mitochondrial fragmentation, can be a disease-modifying therapeutic target for AD, we examined the effects of Drp1 inhibitor on mitochondrial and synaptic dysfunctions induced by oligomeric amyloid-β (Aβ) in neurons and neuropathology and cognitive functions in Aβ precursor protein/presenilin 1 double-transgenic AD mice. Inhibition of Drp1 alleviates mitochondrial fragmentation, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, reactive oxygen species production, ATP reduction, and synaptic depression in Aβ-treated neurons. Furthermore, Drp1 inhibition significantly improves learning and memory and prevents mitochondrial fragmentation, lipid peroxidation, BACE1 expression, and Aβ deposition in the brain in the AD model. These results provide evidence that Drp1 plays an important role in Aβ-mediated and AD-related neuropathology and in cognitive decline in an AD animal model. Therefore, inhibiting excessive Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission may be an efficient therapeutic avenue for AD.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Mitochondrial fission relies on the evolutionary conserved dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Drp1 activity and mitochondria fragmentation are significantly elevated in the brains of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) cases. In the present study, we first demonstrated that the inhibition of Drp1 restored amyloid-β (Aβ)-mediated mitochondrial dysfunctions and synaptic depression in neurons and significantly reduced lipid peroxidation, BACE1 expression, and Aβ deposition in the brain of AD mice. As a result, memory deficits in AD mice were rescued by Drp1 inhibition. These results suggest that neuropathology and combined cognitive decline can be attributed to hyperactivation of Drp1 in the pathogenesis of AD. Therefore, inhibitors of excessive mitochondrial fission, such as Drp1 inhibitors, may be a new strategy for AD.


  • Baek, SH
  • Park, SJ
  • Jeong, JI
  • Kim, SH
  • Han, J
  • Kyung, JW
  • Baik, SH
  • Choi, Y
  • Choi, BY
  • Park, JS
  • Bahn, G
  • Shin, JH
  • Jo, DS
  • Lee, JY
  • Jang, CG
  • Arumugam, Thiruma
  • Kim, J
  • Han, JW
  • Koh, JY
  • Cho, DH
  • Jo, DG

publication date

  • 2017