"Nutraceuticals" are well-tolerated natural dietary compounds with drug-like properties that make them attractive as Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapeutics. Combination therapy for AD has garnered attention following a recent National Institute on Aging mandate, but this approach has not yet been fully validated. In this report, we combined the two most promising nutraceuticals with complementary anti-amyloidogenic properties: the plant-derived phenolics (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG, an α-secretase activator) and ferulic acid (FA, a β-secretase modulator). We used transgenic mice expressing mutant human amyloid β-protein precursor and presenilin 1 (APP/PS1) to model cerebral amyloidosis. At 12 months of age, we orally administered EGCG and/or FA (30 mg/kg each) or vehicle once daily for 3 months. At 15 months, combined EGCG-FA treatment reversed cognitive impairment in most tests of learning and memory, including novel object recognition and maze tasks. Moreover, EGCG- and FA-treated APP/PS1 mice exhibited amelioration of brain parenchymal and cerebral vascular β-amyloid deposits and decreased abundance of amyloid β-proteins compared with either EGCG or FA single treatment. Combined treatment elevated nonamyloidogenic soluble APP-α and α-secretase candidate and down-regulated amyloidogenic soluble APP-β, β-C-terminal APP fragment, and β-secretase protein expression, providing evidence for a shift toward nonamyloidogenic APP processing. Additional beneficial co-treatment effects included amelioration of neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and synaptotoxicity. Our findings offer preclinical evidence that combined treatment with EGCG and FA is a promising AD therapeutic approach.
Keywords: Alzheimer disease; flavonoid; amyloid precursor protein (APP); amyloid-beta (AB); secretase; transgenic mice; neuroinflammation; oxidative stress; nonamyloidogenic; phenol; plant; polyphenol.
© 2019 Mori et al.