NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase activity is increased in hippocampal pyramidal neurons of patients with Alzheimer's disease

Yunxia Wang, Karen Santa-Cruz, Charles DeCarli, Jeffrey A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase (QR) catalyzes the two-electron reduction of quinones, preventing their participation in redox cycling and subsequent generation of reactive oxygen species. Pretreatment of neuroblastoma cells with compounds, such as tert-butylhydroquinone and dimethyl fumarate, that increase QR expression protect cells from oxidative stress-induced cell death by glutamate, H2O2, and dopamine. The potential neuroprotective role of QR as well as the evidence for oxidative stress-induced neuronal cell death in Alzheimer's disease (AD) led us to examine the expression pattern of QR from AD and control patients. Histochemical staining of hippocampal sections from AD patients revealed QR activity in pyramidal neurons. The presence of QR protein in these neurons also was confirmed by immunoreactivity. In control patients, hippocampal pyramidal neurons were negative for both QR enzymatic activity and QR immunoreactivity. In addition, the QR positive neurons of AD patients were selectively located in areas where neuronal populations exhibited tau immunostaining. Our data demonstrate that QR is up-regulated in hippocampal pyramidal neurons of AD patients. We hypothesize that this is part of a neuroprotective system up-regulated in response to the AD process. Understanding this system may lead to further insights into the pathogenesis and potential new avenues of treatment for AD. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-531
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase
  • Neurons
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)


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