Recent epidemiological evidence suggests that some antihypertensive medications may reduce the risk for Alzheimer disease (AD). We screened 55 clinically prescribed antihypertensive medications for AD-modifying activity using primary cortico-hippocampal neuron cultures generated from the Tg2576 AD mouse model. These agents represent all drug classes used for hypertension pharmacotherapy. We identified 7 candidate antihypertensive agents that significantly reduced AD-type β-amyloid protein (Aβ) accumulation. Through in vitro studies, we found that only 1 of the candidate drugs, valsartan, was capable of attenuating oligomerization of Aβ peptides into high-molecular-weight (HMW) oligomeric peptides, known to be involved in cognitive deterioration. We found that preventive treatment of Tg2576 mice with valsartan significantly reduced AD-type neuropathology and the content of soluble HMW extracellular oligomeric Aβ peptides in the brain. Most importantly, valsartan administration also attenuated the development of Aβ-mediated cognitive deterioration, even when delivered at a dose about 2-fold lower than that used for hypertension treatment in humans. These preclinical studies suggest that certain antihypertensive drugs may have AD-modifying activity and may protect against progressive Aβ-related memory deficits in subjects with AD or in those at high risk of developing AD.


Jun Wang, Lap Ho, Linghong Chen, Zhong Zhao, Wei Zhao, Xianjuan Qian, Nelson Humala, Ilana Seror, Sadie Bartholomew, Clive Rosendorff, Giulio Maria Pasinetti


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