Jiménez-Palomares M, Ramos-Rodríguez JJ, López-Acosta JF, Pacheco-Herrero M, Lechuga-Sancho AM, Perdomo G, García-Alloza M, Cózar-Castellano I. (2012) Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 302(11) E1373-80. Epub 2012 Mar 13.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) mellitus and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are two prevalent diseases with comparable pathophysiological features and genetic predisposition. Patients with AD are more susceptible to develop T2D. However, the molecular mechanism linking AD and T2D remains elusive.
In this study, we have generated a new mouse model to test the hypothesis that AD would prompt the onset of T2D in mice. To test our hypothesis, we crossed Alzheimer APPswe/PS1dE9 (APP/PS1) transgenic mice with mice partially deficient in leptin signaling (db/+). Body weight, plasma glucose, and insulin levels were monitored. Phenotypic characterization of glucose metabolism was performed using glucose and insulin tolerance tests. β-Cell mass, islet volume, and islet number were analyzed by histomorphometry.
APP/PS1 coexpression in mice with intact leptin receptor signaling did not show any metabolic perturbations in glucose metabolism or insulin sensitivity. In contrast, APP/PS1 coexpression in db/+ mice resulted in nonfasting hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hypercholesterolemia without changes in body weight. Conversely, fasting blood glucose and cholesterol levels remained unchanged.
Coinciding with altered glucose metabolism, APP/PS1 coexpression in db/+ mice resulted in glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and impaired insulin signaling. In addition, histomorphometric analysis of pancreata revealed augmented β-cell mass.
Taken together, these findings provide experimental evidence to support the notion that aberrant Aβ production might be a mechanistic link underlying the pathology ofinsulin resistance and T2D in AD.