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Mounting evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a causal role in the etiology and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We recently showed that the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor (CAI) methazolamide (MTZ) prevents amyloid b (Ab)-mediated onset of apoptosis in the mouse brain. In this study, we used MTZ and, for the first time, the analog CAI acetazolamide (ATZ) in neuronal and cerebral vascular cells challenged with Ab, to clarify their protective effects and mitochondrial molecular mechanism of action. The CAIs selectively inhibited mitochondrial dysfunction pathways induced by Ab, without affecting metabolic function. ATZ was effective at concentrations 10 times lower than MTZ. Both MTZ and ATZ prevented mitochondrial membrane depolarization and H2O2 generation, with no effects on intracellular pH or ATP production. Importantly, the drugs did not primarily affect calcium homeostasis. This work suggests a new role for carbonic anhydrases (CAs) in the Ab-induced mitochondrial toxicity associated with AD and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), and paves the way to AD clinical trials for CAIs, FDA-approved drugs with a well-known profile of brain delivery.


This work was originally published in Aging Cell, available at DOI: 10.1111/acel.12787.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0)



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