Induction of Alzheimer antigens by an uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation

Arch Neurol. 1990 Aug;47(8):864-9. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1990.00530080046009.


Since previous studies have suggested that the coupling of oxidation to phosphorylation is impaired in Alzheimer brain and fibroblasts, the effects of carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone, a hydrazone known to uncouple mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, were tested on the development of immunoreactivity with antibodies to "Alzheimer antigens" in cultured fibroblasts from cognitively intact subjects. The fibroblasts were exposed for 10 to 14 days to a medium (DMd) modeled on media that favor neuronal differentiation in fetal brain cultures. The addition of a 10-microns concentration of carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone to the DMd culture medium increased by more than 10-fold the proportion of cells reacting immunocytochemically with antibodies to paired helical filaments and by 157-fold the proportion of cells reacting with the Alz-50 monoclonal antibody. These observations suggest that the oxidative abnormalities previously described in tissues from patients with Alzheimer's disease may contribute to the accumulation of abnormal cytoskeletal materials in this disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Antigen-Antibody Reactions / drug effects*
  • Antigens / biosynthesis*
  • Carbonyl Cyanide m-Chlorophenyl Hydrazone / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Nitriles / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism*


  • Alzheimer's disease antigen
  • Antigens
  • Culture Media
  • Nitriles
  • Carbonyl Cyanide m-Chlorophenyl Hydrazone