In this study, changes of the expression of two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes encoding the subunits of cytochrome c oxidase (CO) and NADH dehydrogenase (ND) were studied in the hippocampus, inferior parietal lobule, and cerebellum of 10 Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 10 age-matched control subjects. The altered proportion between CO II and CO IV mRNAs was observed in the AD brain. Changes of the proportion between CO II and CO IV transcripts may contribute to the kinetic perturbation of CO documented in AD. A coordinated decrease of ND4 and ND15 mRNAs was found in the AD hippocampus and inferior parietal lobule, but not in cerebellum. The decrease of ND4 gene expression may lead to the inhibition of normal ubiquinone oxidoreductase activity of ND. This study suggests that changes of the expression of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, encoding parts of ND and CO enzyme complexes, may contribute to alterations of oxidative metabolism in AD.