Reduced VDAC1 protects against alzheimer's disease, mitochondria, and synaptic deficiencies

Maria Manczak, Tatiana Sheiko, William J. Craigen, P. Hemachandra Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to elucidate the effect of VDAC1 on Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related genes, mitochondrial activity, and synaptic viability. Recent knockout studies of VDAC1 revealed that homozygote VDAC1 knockout (VDAC1-/-) mice exhibited disrupted learning and synaptic plasticity, and in contrast, VDAC1+/- mice appeared normal in terms of lifespan, fertility, and viability relative to wild-type mice. However, the effects of reduced VDAC1 on mitochondrial/synaptic genes and mitochondrial function in AD-affected neurons are not well understood. In the present study, we characterized mitochondrial/synaptic and AD-related genes and mitochondrial function in VDAC1+/- mice and VDAC1+/+ mice. We found reduced mRNA levels in the AD-related genes, including AβPP, Tau, PS1, PS2, and BACE1; increased levels of the mitochondrial fusion genes Mfn1, Mfn2; reduced levels of the fission genes Drp1 and Fis1; and reduced levels of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore genes VDAC1, ANT, and CypD in VDAC1+/- mice relative to VDAC1+/+ mice. Hexokinase 1 and 2 were significantly upregulated in the VDAC+/- mice. The synaptic genes synaptophysin, synapsin 1 and 2, synaptobrevin 1 and 2, neurogranin, and PSD95 were also upregulated in the VDAC1+/- mice. Free radical production and lipid peroxidation levels were reduced in the VDAC1+/- mice, and cytochrome oxidase activity and ATP levels were elevated, indicating enhanced mitochondrial function in the VDAC1+/- mice. These findings suggest that reduced VDAC1 expression, such as that we found in the VDAC1 +/- mice, may be beneficial to synaptic activity, may improve function, and may protect against toxicities of AD-related genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-690
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Amyloid-β
  • knockout mouse model
  • mitochondrial function
  • oxidative stress
  • real-time reverse transcriptase PCR
  • voltage-dependent anion channel 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Reduced VDAC1 protects against alzheimer's disease, mitochondria, and synaptic deficiencies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this