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Review Article

Cross-Interplay between Osmolytes and mTOR in Alzheimer's Disease Pathogenesis

[ Vol. 26 , Issue. 37 ]


Zeba Mueed, Devanshu Mehta, Pankaj K. Rai, Mohammad A. Kamal and Nitesh K. Poddar*   Pages 4699 - 4711 ( 13 )


Alzheimer’s disease, categorized by the piling of amyloid-β (Aβ), hyperphosphorylated tau, PHFs, NFTs and mTOR hyperactivity, is a neurodegenerative disorder, affecting people across the globe. Osmolytes are known for osmoprotectants and play a pivotal role in protein folding, function and protein stability, thus, preventing proteins aggregation, and counteracting effects of denaturing solutes on proteins. Osmolytes (viz., sorbitol, inositol, and betaine) perform a pivotal function of maintaining homeostasis during hyperosmotic stress. The selective advantage of utilising osmolytes over inorganic ions by cells is in maintaining cell volume without compromising cell function, which is important for organs such as the brain. Osmolytes have been documented not only as neuroprotectors but they also seem to act as neurodegenerators. Betaine, sucrose and trehalose supplementation has been seen to induce autophagy thereby inhibiting the accumulation of Aβ. In contrast, sucrose has also been associated with mTOR hyperactivity, a hallmark of AD pathology. The neuroprotective action of taurine is revealed when taurine supplementation is seen to inhibit neural damage, apoptosis and oxidative damage. Inositol stereoisomers (viz., scyllo-inositol and myo-inositol) have also been seen to inhibit Aβ production and plaque formation in the brain, inhibiting AD pathogenesis. However, TMAO affects the aging process adversely by deregulating the mTOR signalling pathway and then kindling cognitive dysfunction via degradation of chemical synapses and synaptic plasticity. Thus, it can be concluded that osmolytes may act as a probable therapeutic approach for neurodevelopmental disorders. Here, we have reviewed and focussed upon the impact of osmolytes on mTOR signalling pathway and thereby its role in AD pathogenesis.


Hyperosmotic stress, osmolytes, mTOR, Aβ, tau, autophagy.


Department of Biotechnology, Invertis University, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, Kusuma School of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Department of Biotechnology, Invertis University, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Department of Biosciences, Manipal University Jaipur, Rajasthan

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