Amyloid β 1-42 induces hypometabolism in human stem cell-derived neuron and astrocyte networks

Marta A. Tarczyluk, David A. Nagel, H. Rhein Parri, Erin H.Y. Tse, James E. Brown, Michael D. Coleman, Eric J. Hill*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than 35 million people worldwide. Brain hypometabolism is a major feature of AD, appearing decades before cognitive decline and pathologic lesions. To date, the majority of studies on hypometabolism in AD have used transgenic animal models or imaging studies of the human brain. As it is almost impossible to validate these findings using human tissue, alternative models are required. In this study, we show that human stem cell-derived neuron and astrocyte cultures treated with oligomers of amyloid beta 1-42 (Aβ1-42) also display a clear hypometabolism, particularly with regard to utilization of substrates such as glucose, pyruvate, lactate, and glutamate. In addition, a significant increase in the glycogen content of cells was also observed. These changes were accompanied by changes in NAD+ /NADH, ATP, and glutathione levels, suggesting a disruption in the energy-redox axis within these cultures. The high energy demands associated with neuronal functions such as memory formation and protection from oxidative stress put these cells at particular risk from Aβ-induced hypometabolism. Further research using this model may elucidate the mechanisms associated with Aβ-induced hypometabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1357
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number8
Early online date8 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

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Funding: Alzheimer's Research UK (PPG2009B-3).

Supplementary available on the journal website.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid
  • astrocytes
  • metabolism
  • neurons
  • stem cells


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