Investigating the Diabetic Brain: The Effects of Pioglitazone and Insulin on the Cellular Processes and Pathology of Alzheimer's Disease

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Bagheri, Tanya
Bennett, Vincent
Buck, Annelise
Gordge, Kelles
Green, Ilana
Kang, Eric
Kim, Nahye
McCue, Caroline
Mehta, Unnati
Morken, Shannon
Duffy, Kara
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. Some researchers refer to AD as “Type III Diabetes” because of reported glucose metabolism dysfunction. Preclinical studies suggest increasing insulin decreases AD pathology, although the mechanism remains unclear. To sensitize insulin signaling, this study activated Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma using intranasal co-administration of pioglitazone (PGZ) and insulin. This method targeted the site of action to reduce peripheral effects and to maximize impact in transgenic mice expressing AD pathology. Data from GC-MS fluxomics analysis suggested that PGZ+Insulin increased glucose metabolism in the brain. Immunohistochemistry with relevant antibodies was used to identify AD pathological markers in the subiculum, indicating that PGZ+Insulin decreased pathology compared to Insulin and Saline. This suggests that increasing glucose uptake in the brain alleviated AD pathology, further clarifying the role of insulin signaling in AD pathology.Gemstone