Data_Sheet_1_Deciphering the Link Between Hyperhomocysteinemia and Ceramide Metabolism in Alzheimer-Type Neurodegeneration.docx

Aging is one of the strongest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, several data suggest that dyslipidemia can either contribute or serve as co-factors in AD appearance. AD could be examined as a metabolic disorder mediated by peripheral insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is associated with dyslipidemia, which results in increased hepatic ceramide generation. Hepatic steatosis induces pro-inflammatory cytokine activation which is mediated by the increased ceramides production. Ceramides levels increased in cells due to perturbation in sphingolipid metabolism and upregulated expression of enzymes involved in ceramide synthesis. Cytotoxic ceramides and related molecules generated in liver promote insulin resistance, traffic through the circulation due to injury or cell death caused by local liver inflammation, and because of their hydrophobic nature, they can cross the blood-brain barrier and thereby exert neurotoxic responses as reducing insulin signaling and increasing pro-inflammatory cytokines. These abnormalities propagate a cascade of neurodegeneration associated with oxidative stress and ceramide generation, which potentiate brain insulin resistance, apoptosis, myelin degeneration, and neuro-inflammation. Therefore, excess of toxic lipids generated in liver can cause neurodegeneration. Elevated homocysteine level is also a risk factor for AD pathology and is narrowly associated with metabolic diseases and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The existence of a homocysteine/ceramides signaling pathway suggests that homocysteine toxicity could be partly mediated by intracellular ceramide accumulation due to stimulation of ceramide synthase. In this article, we briefly examined the role of homocysteine and ceramide metabolism linking metabolic diseases and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease to AD. We therefore analyzed the expression of mainly enzymes implicated in ceramide and sphingolipid metabolism and demonstrated deregulation of de novo ceramide biosynthesis and S1P metabolism in liver and brain of hyperhomocysteinemic mice.