The development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is influenced by several events, among which the dysregulation of cholesterol metabolism in the brain plays a major role. Maintenance of brain cholesterol homeostasis is essential for neuronal functioning and brain development. To maintain the steady-state level, excess brain cholesterol is converted into the more hydrophilic metabolite 24-S-hydroxycholesterol (24-OHC), also called cerebrosterol, by the neuron-specific enzyme CYP46A1. A growing bulk of evidence suggests that cholesterol oxidation products, named oxysterols, are the link connecting altered cholesterol metabolism to AD. It has been shown that the levels of some oxysterols, including 27-hydroxycholesterol, 7β-hydroxycholesterol and 7-ketocholesterol, significantly increase in AD brains contributing to disease progression. In contrast, 24-OHC levels decrease, likely due to neuronal loss. Among the different brain oxysterols, 24-OHC is certainly the one whose role is most controversial. It is the dominant oxysterol in the brain and evidence shows that it represents a signaling molecule of great importance for brain function. However, numerous studies highlighted the potential role of 24-OHC in favoring AD development, since it promotes neuroinflammation, amyloid β (Aβ) peptide production, oxidative stress and cell death. In parallel, 24-OHC has been shown to exert several beneficial effects against AD progression, such as preventing tau hyperphosphorylation and Aβ production. In this review we focus on the current knowledge of the controversial role of 24-OHC in AD pathogenesis, reporting a detailed overview of the findings about its levels in different AD biological samples and its noxious or neuroprotective effects in the brain. Given the relevant role of 24-OHC in AD pathophysiology, its targeting could be useful for disease prevention or slowing down its progression.

The Controversial Role of 24-S-Hydroxycholesterol in Alzheimer's Disease

Paola Gamba
;
Serena Giannelli;Erica Staurenghi;Gabriella Testa;Barbara Sottero;Fiorella Biasi;Giuseppe Poli;Gabriella Leonarduzzi
2021

Abstract

The development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is influenced by several events, among which the dysregulation of cholesterol metabolism in the brain plays a major role. Maintenance of brain cholesterol homeostasis is essential for neuronal functioning and brain development. To maintain the steady-state level, excess brain cholesterol is converted into the more hydrophilic metabolite 24-S-hydroxycholesterol (24-OHC), also called cerebrosterol, by the neuron-specific enzyme CYP46A1. A growing bulk of evidence suggests that cholesterol oxidation products, named oxysterols, are the link connecting altered cholesterol metabolism to AD. It has been shown that the levels of some oxysterols, including 27-hydroxycholesterol, 7β-hydroxycholesterol and 7-ketocholesterol, significantly increase in AD brains contributing to disease progression. In contrast, 24-OHC levels decrease, likely due to neuronal loss. Among the different brain oxysterols, 24-OHC is certainly the one whose role is most controversial. It is the dominant oxysterol in the brain and evidence shows that it represents a signaling molecule of great importance for brain function. However, numerous studies highlighted the potential role of 24-OHC in favoring AD development, since it promotes neuroinflammation, amyloid β (Aβ) peptide production, oxidative stress and cell death. In parallel, 24-OHC has been shown to exert several beneficial effects against AD progression, such as preventing tau hyperphosphorylation and Aβ production. In this review we focus on the current knowledge of the controversial role of 24-OHC in AD pathogenesis, reporting a detailed overview of the findings about its levels in different AD biological samples and its noxious or neuroprotective effects in the brain. Given the relevant role of 24-OHC in AD pathophysiology, its targeting could be useful for disease prevention or slowing down its progression.
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24-S-hydroxycholesterol; Alzheimer’s disease; CYP46A1; brain cholesterol metabolism; cerebrosterol; neurodegeneration; neuroprotection; oxysterol; statins.
Paola Gamba, Serena Giannelli, Erica Staurenghi, Gabriella Testa, Barbara Sottero, Fiorella Biasi, Giuseppe Poli, Gabriella Leonarduzzi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1792597
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