Effects of metformin on modulating the expression of brain-related genes of APP/PS1 transgenic mice based on Single Cell Sequencing


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting millions of people worldwide.


Here, we analyzed the effects of metformin on APP/PS1 transgenic mice by behavioral test and single-cell sequencing. Results showed that metformin can improve the spatial learning, memory function, and anxiety mood of APP/PS1 transgenic mice. We identified transcriptionally distinct subpopulations of nine major brain cell types. Metformin increased the differentiation of stem cells, decreased the proportion of cells in the G2 phase, enhanced the generation of neural stem cells and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, and the tendency of neural stem cells to differentiate into astrocytes. Notably, 253 genes expressed abnormally in APP/PS1 transgenic mice and were reversed by metformin. Ttr, Uba52, and Rps21 are the top 3 genes in the cell-gene network with the highest node degree. Moreover, histochemistry showed the expressions of RPS15, UBA52, and RPL23a were consistent with the data from single-cell sequencing. Pathway and biological process enrichment analysis indicated metformin was involved in nervous system development and negative regulation of the apoptotic process.


Overall, metformin might play an important role in the differentiation and development and apoptotic process of the central nervous system by regulating the expression of Ttr, Uba52, Rps21, and other genes to improve cognition of APP/PS1 transgenic mice. These results provided a clue for elaborating on the molecular and cellular basis of metformin on AD.


Alzheimer’s disease; Metformin; Single-cell sequencing.

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