Biomedicines, vol.8, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with a complex etiology and characterized by cognitive deficits and memory loss. The pathogenesis of AD is not yet completely elucidated, and no curative treatment is currently available. Inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels are important for playing a key role in maintaining the resting membrane potential and controlling cell excitability, being largely expressed in both excitable and non-excitable tissues, including neurons. Accordingly, the aim of the study is to investigate the role of neuronal Kir channels in AD pathophysiology. The mRNA and protein levels of neuronal Kir2.1, Kir3.1, and Kir6.2 were evaluated by real-time PCR and Western blot analysis from the hippocampus of an amyloid-beta(A beta)((1-42))-infused rat model of AD. Extracellular deposition of A beta was confirmed by both histological Congo red staining and immunofluorescence analysis. Significant decreased mRNA and protein levels of Kir2.1 and Kir6.2 channels were observed in the rat model of AD, whereas no differences were found in Kir3.1 channel levels as compared with controls. Our results provide in vivo evidence that A beta can modulate the expression of these channels, which may represent novel potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of AD.