In vitro cellular & developmental biology. Animal

Caloric restriction mimetic 2-deoxyglucose maintains cytoarchitecture and reduces tau phosphorylation in primary culture of mouse hippocampal pyramidal neurons.

PMID 25678460


Typical form of neurons is crucially important for their functions. This is maintained by microtubules and associated proteins like tau. Hyperphosphorylation of tau is a major concern in neurodegenerative diseases. Glycogen synthase kinase3β (GSK3β) and cyclin-dependent protein kinase 5 (Cdk5) are the enzymes that govern tau phosphorylation. Currently, efforts are being made to target GSK3β and Cdk5 as possible therapeutic avenues to control tau phosphorylation and treat neurodegenerative diseases related to taupathies. In a number of studies, caloric restriction mimetic 2-deoxyglucose (C6H12O5) was found to be beneficial in improving the brain functions. However, no reports are available on the effect of 2-deoxyglucose 2-DG on tau phosphorylation. In the present study, hippocampal pyramidal neurons from E17 mouse embryos were isolated and cultured on poly-L-lysine-coated coverslips. Neurons from the experimental group were treated with 10 mM 2-deoxyglucose. The treatment of 2-DG resulted in healthier neuronal morphology in terms of significantly lower number of cytoplasmic vacuoles, little or no membrane blebbings, maintained axon hillock and intact neurites. There were decreased immunofluorescence signals for GSK3β, pTau at Ser262, Cdk5 and pTau at Ser235 suggesting decreased tau phosphorylation, which was further confirmed by Western blotting. The results indicate the beneficial effects of 2-DG in controlling the tau phosphorylation and maintaining the healthy neuronal cytoarchitecture.