Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Alzheimer’s Disease as a Chronic Maladaptive Polyamine Stress Response

Version 1 : Received: 15 February 2021 / Approved: 17 February 2021 / Online: 17 February 2021 (10:05:38 CET)

How to cite: Polis, B.; Karasik, D.; Samson, A. Alzheimer’s Disease as a Chronic Maladaptive Polyamine Stress Response. Preprints 2021, 2021020362. Polis, B.; Karasik, D.; Samson, A. Alzheimer’s Disease as a Chronic Maladaptive Polyamine Stress Response. Preprints 2021, 2021020362.


Polyamines are nitrogen-rich polycationic ubiquitous bioactive molecules with diverse evolutionary-conserved functions. Their activity interferes with numerous genes' expression resulting in cell proliferation and signaling modulation. The intracellular levels of polyamines are precisely controlled by evolutionary-conserved machinery. Their transient synthesis is induced by heat stress, radiation, and other traumatic stimuli in a process termed the polyamine stress response (PSR). Notably, polyamine levels decline gradually with age; and external supplementation improves lifespan in model organisms. This corresponds to cytoprotective and reactive oxygen species scavenging properties of polyamines. Paradoxically, age-associated neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by an upsurge in polyamine levels, indicating polyamine pleiotropic, adaptive, and pathogenic roles. Specifically, arginase overactivation and arginine brain deprivation have been shown to play an important role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. Here, we assert that a universal short-term PSR associated with acute stimuli is beneficial for survival. However, it becomes detrimental and maladaptive following chronic noxious stimuli, especially in an aging organism. Furthermore, we regard cellular senescence as an adaptive response to stress and suggest that PSR plays a central role in age-related neurodegenerative diseases' pathogenesis. Our perspective on AD proposes an inclusive reassessment of the causal relationships between the classical hallmarks and clinical manifestation. Consequently, we offer a novel treatment strategy predicated upon this view and suggest fine-tuning of arginase activity with natural inhibitors to preclude or halt the development of AD-related dementia.


polyamines; arginase; senescence; aging; neurodegeneration


Medicine and Pharmacology, Neuroscience and Neurology

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