Probiotic Releasing Angiotensin (1-7) in a Drosophila Model of Alzheimer's Disease Produces Sex-Specific Effects on Cognitive Function

Academic Article


  • Background: While extensive research on the brain has failed to identify effective therapies, using probiotics to target the gut microbiome has shown therapeutic potential in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Genetically modified probiotics (GMP) are a promising strategy to deliver key therapeutic peptides with high efficacy and tissue specificity. Angiotensin (Ang)-(1-7) levels inversely correlate to AD severity, but its administration is challenging. Our group has successfully established a GMP-based method of Ang-(1-7) delivery. Objective: Since Drosophila represents an excellent model to study the effect of probiotics on complex disorders in a high throughput manner, we tested whether oral supplementation with Lactobacillus paracasei releasing Ang-(1-7) (LP-A) delays memory loss in a Drosophila AD model. Methods: Flies overexpressing the human amyloid-β protein precursor and its β-site cleaving enzyme in neurons were randomized to receive four 24-h doses of Lactobacillus paracasei alone (LP), LP-A or sucrose over 14 days. Memory was assessed via an aversive phototaxic suppression assay. Results: Optimal dilution,1:2, was determined based on palatability. LP-A improved memory in trained AD males but worsened cognition in AD females. LP-supplementation experiments confirmed that Ang-(1-7) conferred additional cognitive benefits in males and was responsible for the deleterious cognitive effects in females. Sex-specific differences in the levels of angiotensin peptides and differential activation of the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan metabolism in response to supplementation may underlie this male-only therapeutic response. Conclusion: In summary, LP-A ameliorated the memory deficits of a Drosophila AD model, but effects were sex-specific. Dosage optimization may be required to address this differential response.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Smith CA; Smith H; Roberts L; Coward L; Gorman G; Verma A; Li Q; Buford TW; Carter CS; Jumbo-Lucioni P
  • Start Page

  • 1205
  • End Page

  • 1217
  • Volume

  • 85
  • Issue

  • 3