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Coffee and caffeine potentiate the antiamyloidogenic activity of melatonin via inhibition of Aβ oligomerization and modulation of the Tau-mediated pathway in N2a/APP cells

Authors Zhang L, Zhou Z, Wang Z, Du Y, He Z, Cao C, Zhou S

Received 14 July 2014

Accepted for publication 8 August 2014

Published 24 December 2014 Volume 2015:9 Pages 241—272


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Wei Duan

Li-Fang Zhang,1,2 Zhi-Wei Zhou,2 Zhen-Hai Wang,1 Yan-Hui Du,1 Zhi-Xu He,3 Chuanhai Cao,2 Shu-Feng Zhou2,3

1Department of Neurology, General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, Ningxia, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pharmaceutical Science, College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA; 3Guizhou Provincial Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Research Center and Sino-US Joint Laboratory for Medical Sciences, Guiyang Medical University, Guiyang, Guizhou, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: There is an increasing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which has become a public health issue. However, the underlying mechanisms for the pathogenesis of AD are not fully understood, and the current therapeutic drugs cannot produce acceptable efficacy in AD patients. Previous animal studies have shown that coffee (Coff), caffeine (Caff), and melatonin (Mel) have beneficial effects on AD. Disturbed circadian rhythms are observed in AD, and chronotherapy has shown promising effects on AD. In this study, we examined whether a combination of Coff or Caff plus Mel produced a synergistic/additive effect on amyloid-ß (Aß) generation in Neuro-2a (N2a)/amyloid precursor protein (APP) cells and the possible mechanisms involved. Cells were treated with Coff or Caff, with or without combined Mel, with three different chronological regimens. In regimen 1, cells were treated with Coff or Caff for 12 hours in the day, followed by Mel for 12 hours in the night. For regimen 2, cells were treated with Coff or Caff plus Mel for 24 hours, from 7 am to 7 am the next day. In regimen 3, cells were treated with Coff or Caff plus Mel with regimen 1 or 2 for 5 consecutive days. The extracellular Aβ40/42 and Aβ oligomer levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. The expression and/or phosphorylation levels of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β), Erk1/2, PI3K, Akt, Tau, Wnt3α, β-catenin, and Nrf2 were detected by Western blot assay. The results showed that regimen 1 produced an additive antiamyloidogenic effect with significantly reduced extracellular levels of Aβ40/42 and Aβ42 oligomers. Regimen 2 did not result in remarkable effects, and regimen 3 showed a less antiamyloidogenic effect compared to regimen 1. Coff or Caff, plus Mel reduced oxidative stress in N2a/APP cells via the Nrf2 pathway. Coff or Caff, plus Mel inhibited GSK3β, Akt, PI3K p55, and Tau phosphorylation but enhanced PI3K p85 and Erk1/2 phosphorylation in N2a/APP cells. Coff or Caff, plus Mel downregulated Wnt3α expression but upregulated β-catenin. However, Coff or Caff plus Mel did not significantly alter the production of T helper cell (Th)1-related interleukin (IL)-12 and interferon (IFN)-γ and Th2-related IL-4 and IL-10 in N2a/APP cells. The autophagy of cells was not affected by the combinations. Taken together, combination of Caff or Coff, before treatment with Mel elicits an additive antiamyloidogenic effects in N2a/APP cells, probably through inhibition of Aβ oligomerization and modulation of the Akt/GSK3β/Tau signaling pathway.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, Aβ oligomer, coffee, caffeine, melatonin, Tau, Nrf2, chronotherapy, Akt

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