Folate/Vitamin B Alleviates Hyperhomocysteinemia-Induced Alzheimer-Like Pathologies in Rat Retina
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Hyperhomocysteinemia (Hhcy) is an independent risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Visual dysfunction is commonly found and is positively correlated with the severity of cognitive defects in AD patients. Our previous study demonstrated that Hhcy induces memory deficits with AD-like tau and amyloid-β (Aβ) pathologies in the hippocampus, and supplementation with folate and vitamin B12 (FB) prevents the Hhcy-induced AD-like pathologies in the hippocampus. Here, we investigated whether Hhcy also induces AD-like pathologies in the retina and the effects of FB. An Hhcy rat model was produced by vena caudalis injection of homocysteine for 14 days, and the effects of FB were assessed by simultaneous supplementation with FB in drinking water. We found that Hhcy induced vessel damage with Aβ and tau pathologies in the retina, while simultaneous supplementation with FB remarkably attenuated the Hhcy-induced tau hyperphosphorylation at multiple AD-related sites and Aβ accumulation in the retina. The mechanisms involved downregulation of amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin-1, beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1, and protein phosphatase-2A. Our data suggest that the retina may serve as a window for evaluating the effects of FB on hyperhomocysteinemia-induced Alzheimer-like pathologies.
KeywordsHyperhomocysteinemia Alzheimer’s disease Retina Folate Vitamin B12
We thank Prof. Xiangtian Zhou of the School of Optometry and Ophthalmology and Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical College, China, for technical support. This work was supported in part by the Natural Science Foundation of China (91632305, 91632111, 31730035, and 81721005), and by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2016YFC1305800).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing interests.
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