DMF in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease


Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) has been approved for clinical treatment of multiple sclerosis based on its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects by activating the Nrf2 pathway. Since both oxidative stress and inflammation are involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD), DMF is a potential therapeutic option for AD.

This study aims to test the therapeutic effects of DMF on AD model mice and to reveal its underlying molecular mechanisms. (J Alzheimers Dis. 2021 Nov 21)

Cell viability assay and in vitro immunofluorescence imaging were used to evaluate the antioxidant effect of DMF on embryonic mouse hippocampal neurons. Behavioral test and brain magnetic resonance imaging were used to assess the therapeutic effects of DMF on spatial learning and memory as well as hippocampal volume in AD model mice with and without Nrf2 knockdown. Western blotting was used to analyze the expression of antioxidant enzymes and molecules associated with AD-related pathological pathways.

DMF inhibits reactive oxygen species overproduction and protects neurons without Nrf2 knockdown from death. DMF reduces amyloid-β induced memory impairment and hippocampal atrophy in AD model mice rather than in Nrf2 knockdown AD mice. DMF delays the progression of AD by activating the Nrf2 pathway to enhance the expression of downstream antioxidant enzymes and inhibits lipid peroxidation, apoptosis, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction and amyloid-β deposition.

These results indicate that DMF is a potential therapeutic option for AD through its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and other anti-AD effects by activating the Nrf2 pathway.