Calcium channel blocking as a therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer's disease: The case for isradipine

Thimmappa S. Anekonda, Joseph Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is the most devastating neurodegenerative disorder in the elderly, yet treatment options are severely limited. The drug development effort to modify Alzheimer's disease pathology by intervention at beta amyloid production sites has been largely ineffective or inconclusive. The greatest challenge has been to identify and define downstream mechanisms reliably predictive of clinical symptoms. Beta amyloid accumulation leads to dysregulation of intracellular calcium by plasma membrane L-type calcium channels located on neuronal somatodendrites and axons in the hippocampus and cortex. Paradoxically, L-type calcium channel subtype Ca v1.2 also promotes synaptic plasticity and spatial memory. Increased intracellular calcium modulates amyloid precursor protein processing and affects multiple downstream pathways including increased hyperphosphorylated tau and suppression of autophagy. Isradipine is a Federal Drug Administration-approved dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker that binds selectively to Ca v1.2 in the hippocampus. Our studies have shown that isradipine in vitro attenuates beta amyloid oligomer toxicity by suppressing calcium influx into cytoplasm and by suppressing Ca v1.2 expression. We have previously shown that administration of isradipine to triple transgenic animal model for Alzheimer's disease was well-tolerated. Our results further suggest that isradipine became bioavailable, lowered tau burden, and improved autophagy function in the brain. A better understanding of brain pharmacokinetics of calcium channel blockers will be critical for designing new experiments with appropriate drug doses in any future clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease. This review highlights the importance of Ca v1.2 channel overexpression, the accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau and suppression of autophagy in Alzheimer's disease and modulation of this pathway by isradipine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1584-1590
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Volume1812
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

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Isradipine
Calcium Channels
Alzheimer Disease
Autophagy
Amyloid
L-Type Calcium Channels
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium
Hippocampus
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Therapeutics
Genetically Modified Animals
Neuronal Plasticity
Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
Brain
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Axons
Cytoplasm
Animal Models
Pharmacokinetics

Keywords

  • Autophagy
  • Beta amyloid
  • Bioavailability
  • Tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine

Cite this

Calcium channel blocking as a therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer's disease : The case for isradipine. / Anekonda, Thimmappa S.; Quinn, Joseph.

In: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease, Vol. 1812, No. 12, 12.2011, p. 1584-1590.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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