Date Available


Year of Publication


Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

D. Allan Butterfield


The studies presented in this work were completed with the goal ofgaining greater insight into the roles of protein oxidation in brain aging and age-relatedcognitive impairment. Aging is associated with the impairment of physiological systemssuch as the central nervous system (CNS), homeostatic system, immune system, etc.Functional impairments of the CNS is associated with increased susceptibility to developmany neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's diseases (AD), Parkinson's disease(PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). One of the most noticeable functionalimpairments of the CNS is manifested by cognitive decline. In the past three decades, thefree radical theory of aging has gained relatively strong support in this area. Excessiveproduction reactive oxygen species (ROS) was demonstrated as a contributing factor inage-related memory and synaptic plasticity dysfunction. This dissertation use proteomicsto identify the proteins that are oxidatively modified and post-translationally altered inaged brain with cognitive impairment and normal aging brain.Ongoing research is being pursued for development of regime to preventoxidative damage by age-related oxidative stress. Among which are those that scavengefree radicals by antioxidants, i.e. ??-lipoic acid (LA), and protecting the brains byreducing production of neurotoxic substance, i.e. reducing production of amyloid ??(A??).Therefore, proteomics were also used to identify the alteration of specific proteins in agedbrain treated with LA and antisense oligonucleotides again amyloid protein precursor.This dissertation provides evidences that certain proteins are less oxidatively modifiedand post-translationally altered in cognitively impaired aged brain treated with LA andantisense oligonucleotides against the A?? region of amyloid precursor protein (APP)(AO).Together, the studies in this dissertation demonstrated that increased oxidativestress in brain play a significant role in age-related cognitive impairment. Moreover, suchincreased oxidative stress leads to specific protein oxidation in the brain of cognitiveimpaired subject, thereby leading to cognitive function impairment. Moreover, thefunctional alterations of the proteins identified by proteomics in this dissertation mayleads to impaired metabolism, decline antioxidant system, and damaged synapticcommunication. Ultimately, impairment of these processes lead to neuronal damages andcognitive decline. This dissertation also show that several of the up-regulated andoxidized proteins in the brains of normal aging mice identified are known to be oxidizedin neurodegenerative diseases as well, suggesting that the expression levels of certainproteins may increase as a compensatory response to oxidative stress. This compensationwould allow for the maintenance of proper molecular functions in normal aging brainsand protection against neurodegeneration.



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