10 - 2008

Curr Alzheimer Res. 2008 Oct;5(5):422-31.

Fatty aspirin: a new perspective in the prevention of dementia of Alzheimer's type?

Pomponi M, Di Gioia A, Bria P, Pomponi MF. Catholic University of Sacred Heart (UCSC), Psychiatric Department, Rome, Italy.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) leads to a dramatic decline in cognitive abilities and memory. A more modest disruption of memory often occurs in normal aging and the same circuits that are devastated through degeneration in AD are vulnerable to sub-lethal age-related changes that alter synaptic transmission. There are numerous indications that aberrant plasticity is critically involved in Alzheimer's. Is ageing itself the major risk factor for AD? Is AD an acceleration of normal ageing? We assume that the ability of the brain is to modify its own structural organization and functioning which is liable to become impaired in ageing until it becomes dramatically impaired in Alzheimer's. Moreover, ageing can compromise the conversion of dietary alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA regulates synaptogenesis and affects the synaptic structure, and synapse density is reduced in ageing. DHA and newly identified DHA-derived messenger, neuroprotecting D1 (NPD1), protect synapses and decrease the number of activated microglia in the hippocampal system. Delaying AD onset by a few years would reduce the number of the cases of dementia in the community. DHA (and NPD1?) and aspirin induce brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein expression and this protein has a crucial role in neuronal survival. The authors--in view of the increased neuroinflammatory reaction frequently observed during normal brain ageing--suggest the long-term use of "fatty aspirin", an association of DHA and/or NPD1 and aspirin (or nitroaspirin), to postpone, or prevent, the structural neurodegeneration of the brain.

Carcinogenesis. 2008 Sep;29(9):1794-8. Epub 2008 Jun 9.

NO-donating aspirin inhibits angiogenesis by suppressing VEGF expression in HT-29 human colon cancer mouse xenografts.

Ouyang N, Williams JL, Rigas B. Division of Cancer Prevention, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.

The inhibitory effect of NO-donating aspirin (NO-ASA) on colon cancer has been demonstrated in vivo and in vitro but its mechanism is still obscure. We investigated the effect of NO-ASA on angiogenesis. Four groups of athymic mice (N = 12) bearing subcutaneous xenotransplants of HT-29 human colon cancer cells were injected intratumorally twice a week for 3 weeks with vehicle or m-NO-ASA or p-NO-ASA; the fourth group received no injections. The necrotic area of tumors, expressed as percentage of total area, was similar in the non-injected and vehicle-injected groups (51.8 +/- 2.8 versus 52.2 +/- 4.1, P > 0.05; mean +/- SEM for these and subsequent values). Compared with the vehicle group, the necrotic area of tumors was higher in the m-NO-ASA-treated (61.0 +/- 2.7, P < 0.02) and p-NO-ASA (65.8 +/- 2.4, P < 0.001)-treated groups. NO-ASA decreased microvessel density: vehicle = 11.7 +/- 0.8; m-NO-ASA = 7.8 +/- 0.6 (P = 0.0003 versus vehicle) and p-NO-ASA 6.2 +/- 0.7 (P = 0.0001 versus vehicle). The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was significantly reduced in response to NO-ASA, with the p- isomer being more potent than the m-.NO-ASA altered the spatial distribution of VGEF expression, with 16.7% of the vehicle-treated xenografts displaying diminished VEGF in the inner region of the area between necrosis and the outer perimeter of the tumor, compared with those treated with m- (58.3%) or p-NO-ASA (75%, P < 0.01 for both versus control). Our findings indicate that NO-ASA suppresses the expression of VEGF, which leads to suppressed angiogenesis. The antiangiogenic activity of NO-ASA may be part of its antineoplastic effect.