Metabolic profiling of Alzheimer's disease brains

Sci Rep. 2013:3:2364. doi: 10.1038/srep02364.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible, progressive brain disease and can be definitively diagnosed after death through an examination of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in several brain regions. It is to be expected that changes in the concentration and/or localization of low-molecular-weight molecules are linked to the pathological changes that occur in AD, and determining their identity would provide valuable information regarding AD processes. Here, we propose definitive brain metabolic profiling using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis. The acquired data were subjected to principal components analysis to differentiate the frontal and parietal lobes of the AD/Control groups. Significant differences in the levels of spermine and spermidine were identified using S-plot, mass spectra, databases and standards. Based on the investigation of the polyamine metabolite pathway, these data establish that the downstream metabolites of ornithine are increased, potentially implicating ornithine decarboxylase activity in AD pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Biogenic Polyamines / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolome*
  • Ornithine / metabolism*
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase / metabolism*


  • Biogenic Polyamines
  • Ornithine
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase