Image_2_The Therapeutic Targets of Fingolimod (FTY720) Are Involved in Pathological Processes in the Frontal Cortex of Alzheimer's Disease Patients: A.TIF (254.27 kB)
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Image_2_The Therapeutic Targets of Fingolimod (FTY720) Are Involved in Pathological Processes in the Frontal Cortex of Alzheimer's Disease Patients: A Network Pharmacology Study.TIF

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posted on 02.02.2021, 04:58 by Pengqi Yin, Yang Xue, Tingting Wang, Di Zhong, Guozhong Li

Background: The sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor (S1PR) modulator fingolimod (FTY720), which is commonly used as an immunomodulator in multiple sclerosis treatment, has recently been found to reduce pathological changes in the brain tissue of Alzheimer's disease (AD) animal models, but this has yet to be verified in human brain tissue. In this study, network pharmacology methods were applied to determine the potential pharmacological mechanisms of fingolimod in the frontal cortex of AD patients.

Methods: The pharmacological macromolecular targets of fingolimod and fingolimod phosphate were downloaded from SwissTarget and DrugBank. Systematic intersection analysis of the expression profiles of brain frontal cortex tissues (423 AD tissues and 266 control tissues) was performed to obtain AD-associated fingolimod targets (F-ADGs). Immune cell infiltration analysis and a primary mouse cortical culture RNA-seq drug screen database were used to identify immune-related F-ADGs and cortex-related F-ADGs. Then, the expression values of F-ADGs were correlated with the disease severity score (MMSE score) of AD patients to identify severity-related F-ADGs. We also analyzed miRNA expression microarray data in the frontal cortex of AD patients associated with disease severity to obtain severity-related F-ADG-miRNAs.

Results: A total of 188 F-ADGs were detected in the frontal cortices of AD patients and were enriched in biological processes such as synaptic signaling, inflammatory response, and response to oxygen-containing compounds. Eleven immune-related F-ADGs (like FPR1, BLNK.) and 17 cortex-related F-ADGs (like ALDH1L1, DUSP1.) were detected. Other F-ADGs, such as S1PR1 and GABBR2, although not classified into the above two categories, were still predicted by bioinformatics methods to play an important role in the development of AD. Two F-ADGs (GNAQ and MMP14) and 28 miRNAs (like miR- 323a-3p, miR-181a-5p.) were found to be associated with AD severity (MMSE 0-27 group). Fifteen F-ADGs (like ALDH1L1, FPR1, and IL6.) and 46 miRNAs (like miR-212-5p, miR-93-5p.) were found to be associated with mild or moderate dementia AD patients' severity (MMSE11-22 subgroup).

Conclusions: Fingolimod may affect the brain frontal cortex function of AD patients in many different ways, such as affecting immune cell infiltration, nerve cell, or glial cell function, and synaptic function. miRNAs may also be involved. ALDH1L1, FPR1, S1PR1, and GABBR2 may be core drug targets.

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