High-dose of vitamin C supplementation reduces amyloid plaque burden and ameliorates pathological changes in the brain of 5XFAD mice.
Cell Death Dis. 2014 ;5:e1083. Epub 2014 Feb 27. PMID: 24577081
Blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown and mitochondrial dysfunction have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disease characterized by cognitive deficits and neuronal loss. Besides vitamin C being as one of the important antioxidants, recently, it has also been reported as a modulator of BBB integrity and mitochondria morphology. Plasma levels of vitamin C are decreased in AD patients, which can affect disease progression. However, investigation using animal models on the role of vitamin C in the AD pathogenesis has been hampered because rodents produce with no dependence on external supply. Therefore, to identify the pathogenic importance of vitamin C in an AD mouse model, we cross-bred 5 familial Alzheimer's disease mutation (5XFAD) mice (AD mouse model) withι-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase (Gulo) knockout (KO) mice, which are unable to synthesize their own vitamin C, and produced Gulo KO mice with 5XFAD mice background (KO-Tg). These mice were maintained on either low (0.66 g/l) or high (3.3 g/l) supplementation of vitamin C. We found that the higher supplementation of vitamin C had reduced amyloid plaque burden in the cortex and hippocampus in KO-Tg mice, resulting in amelioration of BBB disruption and mitochondrial alteration. These results suggest that intake of a larger amount of vitamin C could be protective against AD-like pathologies.