Screening neuroprotective compounds in herpes-induced Alzheimer's disease cell and 3D tissue models

Free Radic Biol Med. 2022 Jun:186:76-92. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2022.05.002. Epub 2022 May 7.


Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that can cause life-altering and debilitating cognitive decline. AD's etiology is poorly understood, and no disease-modifying therapeutics exist. Here, we describe the use of 2D and 3D tissue culture models of herpesvirus-induced AD, which recapitulate hallmark disease features of plaque formation, gliosis, neuroinflammation, and impaired neuronal signaling, to screen a panel of 21 medications, supplements, and nutraceuticals with purported neuroprotective benefits. This screen identified green tea catechins and resveratrol as having strong anti-plaque properties, functional neuroprotective benefits, and minimal neurotoxicity, providing support for their further investigation as AD preventives and therapies. Two other candidates, citicoline and metformin, reduced plaque formation and were minimally toxic, but did not protect against virus-induced impairments in neuronal signaling. This study establishes a simple platform for rapidly screening and characterizing AD compounds of interest in 2D and 3D human cortical tissue models representing physiologically relevant disease features.

Keywords: 3D culture; Alzheimer's disease; Bioengineering; Screening.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / drug therapy
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / drug therapy
  • Gliosis / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotective Agents* / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Plaque, Amyloid


  • Neuroprotective Agents