Estrogen regulation of glucose metabolism and mitochondrial function: therapeutic implications for prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

TitleEstrogen regulation of glucose metabolism and mitochondrial function: therapeutic implications for prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBrinton RDiaz
JournalAdv Drug Deliv Rev
Date Published2008 Oct-Nov
KeywordsAlzheimer Disease, Brain, Energy Metabolism, Estradiol, Estrogen Replacement Therapy, Estrogens, Glucose, Glycolysis, Humans, Mitochondria

Estrogen-induced signaling pathways in hippocampal and cortical neurons converge upon the mitochondria to enhance mitochondrial function and to sustain aerobic glycolysis and citric acid cycle-driven oxidative phosphorylation and ATP generation. Data derived from experimental and clinical paradigms investigating estrogen intervention in healthy systems and prior to neurodegenerative insult indicate enhanced neural defense and survival through maintenance of calcium homeostasis, enhanced glycolysis coupled to the citric acid cycle (aerobic glycolysis), sustained and enhanced mitochondrial function, protection against free radical damage, efficient cholesterol trafficking and beta amyloid clearance. The convergence of E(2) mechanisms of action onto mitochondrial is also a potential point of vulnerability when activated in a degenerating neural system and could exacerbate the degenerative processes through increased load on dysregulated calcium homeostasis. The data indicate that as the continuum of neurological health progresses from healthy to unhealthy so too do the benefits of estrogen or hormone therapy. If neurons are healthy at the time of estrogen exposure, their response to estrogen is beneficial for both neuronal survival and neurological function. In contrast, if neurological health is compromised, estrogen exposure over time exacerbates neurological demise. The healthy cell bias of estrogen action hypothesis provides a lens through which to assess the disparities in outcomes across the basic to clinical domains of scientific inquiry and on which to predict future applications of estrogen and hormone therapeutic interventions sustain neurological health and to prevent age-associated neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Overall, E(2) promotes the energetic capacity of brain mitochondria by maximizing aerobic glycolysis (oxidative phosphorylation coupled to pyruvate metabolism). The enhanced aerobic glycolysis in the aging brain would be predicted to prevent conversion of the brain to using alternative sources of fuel such as the ketone body pathway characteristic of Alzheimer's.

Alternate JournalAdv. Drug Deliv. Rev.
PubMed ID18647624
PubMed Central IDPMC2993571
Grant List1R01 MH67159 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH067159-05 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG032236 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH067159 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG026572 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
Faculty Member Reference: 
Roberta Diaz Brinton, Ph.D