Investigating Organic Nitrate Tolerance and Alzheimer's Disease: Roles for Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 2 and 4-Hydroxynonenal
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Organic nitrates, such as glyceryl trinitrate (GTN), have been used clinically for more than a century. However optimal nitrate therapy is hindered by the development of tolerance, which is associated with a desensitized response to GTN, oxidative stress, and the inactivation of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). This thesis evaluated the ALDH2 inactivation hypothesis of GTN tolerance and investigated the role of oxidative stress in GTN tolerance mediated by the lipid peroxidation product, 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE). Evidence for a direct role of ALDH2 in nitrate action was sought using a stably transfected cell line that overexpressed ALDH2, or siRNA to deplete endogenous ALDH2. Neither manipulation altered GTN-induced cGMP formation, indicating that ALDH2 does not mediate GTN bioactivation and tolerance. In a second study using an in vivo GTN tolerance model and a cell culture model of nitrate action, a marked increase in HNE adduct formation was detected in GTN-tolerant tissues, and treatment with HNE reduced the cGMP and vasodilator responses to GTN, thus mimicking GTN-tolerance. Together, the results suggest a primary role for HNE in the development of GTN tolerance, and provide the framework for a unified hypothesis that accommodates the previous findings of sulfhydryl depletion, ALDH2 inactivation and oxidative stress that are associated with nitrate tolerance. Studies have implicated oxidative stress and increased HNE formation in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It was hypothesized that the gene deletion of ALDH2 would result in increased HNE-adduct formation leading to impaired cognitive function, and AD-like pathological changes. We observed a marked increase in HNE-adduct formation in Aldh2-/- mouse hippocampi as well as hyperphosphorylated tau, activated caspases, age-related changes in hippocampal amyloid βeta1-42 (Aβ1-42), post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD95) and phosphorylated cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element binding protein (pCREB) expression, endothelial dysfunction and other vascular pathologies. These data provide further evidence for the importance of HNE and oxidative stress in AD pathogenesis, and establish Aldh2-/- mice as a new, oxidative stress-based animal model of age-related cognitive impairment and AD.