Disease models & mechanisms

Triptolide treatment reduces Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like pathology through inhibition of BACE1 in a transgenic mouse model of AD.

PMID 25481013


The complex pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves multiple contributing factors, including amyloid β (Aβ) peptide accumulation, inflammation and oxidative stress. Effective therapeutic strategies for AD are still urgently needed. Triptolide is the major active compound extracted from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook.f., a traditional Chinese medicinal herb that is commonly used to treat inflammatory diseases. The 5-month-old 5XFAD mice, which carry five familial AD mutations in the β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin-1 (PS1) genes, were treated with triptolide for 8 weeks. We observed enhanced spatial learning performances, and attenuated Aβ production and deposition in the brain. Triptolide also inhibited the processing of amyloidogenic APP, as well as the expression of βAPP-cleaving enzyme-1 (BACE1) both in vivo and in vitro. In addition, triptolide exerted anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects on the transgenic mouse brain. Triptolide therefore confers protection against the effects of AD in our mouse model and is emerging as a promising therapeutic candidate drug for AD.