Neuroglobin attenuates β-amyloid neurotoxicity in vitro and transgenic Alzheimer phenotype in vivo

Adil A. Khan, Ou Mao Xiao, Surita Banwait, Kunlin Jin, David A. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Neuroglobin (Ngb), a vertebrate globin expressed primarily in neurons, is induced by and protects against neuronal hypoxia and cerebral ischemia. To investigate the spectrum and mechanism of Ngb's neuroprotective action, we studied the effect of transgenic overexpression of Ngb on NMDA and β-amyloid (Aβ) toxicity in murine cortical neuron cultures in vitro and on the phenotype of Alzheimer's disease (AD) transgenic (APP Sw,Ind) mice. Compared with cortical neuron cultures from wild-type mice, cultures from Ngb-overexpressing transgenic (Ngb-Tg mice) were resistant to the toxic effects of NMDA and Aβ(25-35), as measured by polarization of cell membrane lipid rafts, mitochondrial aggregation, lactate dehydrogenase release, and nuclear fragmentation. In addition, compared with APP Sw,Ind mice, double-transgenic (Ngb-Tg x APPSw,Ind) mice showed reductions in thioflavin-S-stained extracellular Aβ deposits, decreased levels of Aβ(1-40) and Aβ(1-42), and improved behavioral performance in a Y-maze test of spontaneous alternations. These findings suggest that the spectrum of Ngb's neuroprotective action extends beyond hypoxic-ischemic insults. Ngb may protect neurons from NMDA and Aβ toxicity by inhibiting the formation of a death-signaling membrane complex, and interventions that increase Ngb expression could have therapeutic application in AD and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19114-19119
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number48
StatePublished - 27 Nov 2007


  • Globin
  • Lipid raft
  • NMDA
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroprotection


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