In recent years, neuropathological and epidemiological studies have indicated an association between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and several cardiovascular risk factors. In this study, the cardio-protective effects of folic acid (FA) in early stage AD was elucidated using a triple-transgenic (3xTg) Alzheimer's mouse model. Eleven-month-old C57BL/6 mice and 3xTg mice were assigned to five groups. During the four-month treatment period, the low-FA treatment group received FA through their diet, and the high-FA treatment groups received 3 mg/dl folate in drinking water and were also gastric-fed 1.2 mg/kg folate every day. In the C57B1/6J mice, treatment with high doses of FA (HFA) did not show any considerable effect compared to the control group or the low-dose dietary FA treatment group. However, Alzheimer's mice treated with HFA showed enhanced cardio-protection. Western blot analysis revealed that FA treatment restored SIRT1 expression, which was suppressed in 3xTg mice, through enhanced AMPK expression. FA significantly enhanced the IGF1 receptor survival mechanism in the hearts of the 3xTg mice and suppressed the expression-intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis-associated proteins. The results suggest that FA intake may significantly alleviate cellular pathological events in the heart associated with AD.
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