Talbot K, Wang HY, Kazi H, et al. Demonstrated brain insulin resistance in Alzheimer's disease patients is associated with IGF-1 resistance, IRS-1 dysregulation, and cognitive decline

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-3403, USA.
The Journal of clinical investigation (Impact Factor: 13.22). 03/2012; 122(4):1316-38. DOI: 10.1172/JCI59903
Source: PubMed


While a potential causal factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD), brain insulin resistance has not been demonstrated directly in that disorder. We provide such a demonstration here by showing that the hippocampal formation (HF) and, to a lesser degree, the cerebellar cortex in AD cases without diabetes exhibit markedly reduced responses to insulin signaling in the IR→IRS-1→PI3K signaling pathway with greatly reduced responses to IGF-1 in the IGF-1R→IRS-2→PI3K signaling pathway. Reduced insulin responses were maximal at the level of IRS-1 and were consistently associated with basal elevations in IRS-1 phosphorylated at serine 616 (IRS-1 pS⁶¹⁶) and IRS-1 pS⁶³⁶/⁶³⁹. In the HF, these candidate biomarkers of brain insulin resistance increased commonly and progressively from normal cases to mild cognitively impaired cases to AD cases regardless of diabetes or APOE ε4 status. Levels of IRS-1 pS⁶¹⁶ and IRS-1 pS⁶³⁶/⁶³⁹ and their activated kinases correlated positively with those of oligomeric Aβ plaques and were negatively associated with episodic and working memory, even after adjusting for Aβ plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and APOE ε4. Brain insulin resistance thus appears to be an early and common feature of AD, a phenomenon accompanied by IGF-1 resistance and closely associated with IRS-1 dysfunction potentially triggered by Aβ oligomers and yet promoting cognitive decline independent of classic AD pathology.

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Available from: Konrad Talbot
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    • "Interestingly, human postmortem studies have convincingly shown that a dysregulation of the insulin signaling with reduced downstream neuronal survival and plasticity mechanisms are consistent and fundamental abnormalities in AD [9] [14] [15]. In particular, AD brain is characterized by a phenomenon known as brain insulin resistance (BIR) – broadly defined as the inadequate response to insulin by target cells [13] – due to reduced insulin receptor (IR) activation and increased levels of inhibitory phosphorylation of the insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS1) on specific serine (Ser) residues [9] [14] [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical studies suggest a link between peripheral insulin resistance and cognitive dysfunction. Interestingly, post-mortem analyses of Alzheimer disease (AD) subjects demonstrated insulin resistance in the brain proposing a role for cognitive deficits observed in AD. However, the mechanisms responsible for the onset of brain insulin resistance (BIR) need further elucidations. Biliverdin reductase-A (BVR-A) emerged as a unique Ser/Thr/Tyr kinase directly involved in the insulin signaling and represents an up-stream regulator of the insulin signaling cascade. Because we previously demonstrated the oxidative stress (OS)-induced impairment of BVR-A in human AD brain, we hypothesize that BVR-A dysregulation could be associated with the onset of BIR in AD. In the present work, we longitudinally analyze the age-dependent changes of (i) BVR-A protein levels and activation, (ii) total oxidative stress markers levels (PC, HNE, 3-NT) as well as (iii) IR/IRS1 levels and activation in the hippocampus of the triple transgenic model of AD (3xTg-AD) mice. Furthermore, ad hoc experiments have been performed in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells to clarify the molecular mechanism(s) underlying changes observed in mice. Our results show that OS-induced impairment of BVR-A kinase activity is an early event, which starts prior the accumulation of Aβ and tau pathology or the elevation of TNF-α, and that greatly contribute to the onset of BIR along the progression of AD pathology in 3xTg-Ad mice. Based on these evidence we, therefore, propose a new paradigm for which: OS-induced impairment of BVR-A is firstly responsible for a sustained activation of IRS1, which then causes the stimulation of negative feedback mechanisms (i.e. mTOR) aimed to turn-off IRS1 hyper-activity and thus BIR. Similar alterations characterize also the normal aging process in mice, positing BVR-A impairment as a possible bridge in the transition from normal aging to AD.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Free Radical Biology and Medicine
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    • "In advanced human AD, brain IGF-I expression was decreased with an accompanying reduction in IGF1R signaling [14] [15]. Talbot et al. confirmed the presence of resistance to IGF-I signaling in AD brains [16], and the AD neurons that are resistant to IGF1R and IR signaling might lack trophic signals and therefore degenerate [8] [11]. IGF-II is more abundant than IGF-I in serum and CSF [3] [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) is important for brain development. Although IGF-II is abundant also in adult life, little is known of the role of IGF-II in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Objective and methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 60 consecutive patients under primary evaluation of cognitive impairment and 20 healthy controls. The patients had AD dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) diagnosed with AD dementia upon follow-up (n = 32), stable MCI (SMCI, n = 13), or other dementias (n = 15). IGF-II, IGF-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1), and IGFBP-2 were analyzed in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Results: Levels of IGF-II, IGFBP-1, and IGFBP-2 were similar in all groups in the total study population. Gender-specific analyses showed that in men (n = 40), CSF IGF-II level was higher in AD compared to SMCI and controls (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively). Furthermore, CSF IGFBP-2 level was increased in AD men versus SMCI men (p < 0.01) and tended to be increased versus control men (p = 0.09). There were no between-group differences in women (n = 40). In the total study population (n = 80) as well as in men (n = 40), CSF levels of IGF-II and IGFBP-2 correlated positively with CSF levels of the AD biomarkers total-tau and phosphorylated tau protein. Conclusion: In men, but not women, in the early stages of AD, CSF IGF-II level was elevated, and CSF IGFBP-2 level tended to be increased, compared to healthy controls.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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    • "Reduced insulin sensitivity and efficacy is also observed in the majority of elderly people (Carro and Torres-Aleman, 2004, Hoyer, 2004). Biochemical analysis of brain tissue have shown that insulin signaling is impaired in AD patients (Moloney et al., 2010, Bomfim et al., 2012, Talbot et al., 2012). This unexpected connection between T2DM and AD opened up novel research targets to find out what the underlying mechanisms for the development of AD may be. "
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    ABSTRACT: Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) is a member of the incretin hormones and growth factors. Neurons express the GIP receptor, and GIP and its agonists can pass through the blood brain barrier and show remarkable neuroprotective effects by protecting synapse function and numbers, promoting neuronal proliferation, reducing amyloid plaques in the cortex and reducing the chronic inflammation response of the nervous system. Long-acting analogues of GIP that are protease resistant had been developed as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. It has been found that such GIP analogues show good protective effects in animal models of Alzheimer's disease. Novel dual agonist peptides that activate the GIP receptor and another incretin receptor, glucagon-like peptide -1 (GLP-1), are under development that show superior effects in diabetic patients compared to single GLP-1 agonists. The dual agonists also show great promise in treating neurodegenerative disorders, and there are currently several clinical trials ongoing, testing GLP-1 mimetics in people with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Reviews in the neurosciences
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