Metabotropic NMDA receptor function is required for β-amyloid-induced synaptic depression.
ABSTRACT The mechanisms by which β-amyloid (Aβ), a peptide fragment believed to contribute to Alzheimer's disease, leads to synaptic deficits are not known. Here we find that elevated oligomeric Aβ requires ion flux-independent function of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) to produce synaptic depression. Aβ activates this metabotropic NMDAR function on GluN2B-containing NMDARs but not on those containing GluN2A. Furthermore, oligomeric Aβ leads to a selective loss of synaptic GluN2B responses, effecting a switch in subunit composition from GluN2B to GluN2A, a process normally observed during development. Our results suggest that conformational changes of the NMDAR, and not ion flow through its channel, are required for Aβ to produce synaptic depression and a switch in NMDAR composition. This Aβ-induced signaling mediated by alterations in GluN2B conformation may be a target for therapeutic intervention of Alzheimer's disease.
- SourceAvailable from: Birgit Hutter-Paier[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Synaptic dysfunction and loss caused by age-dependent accumulation of synaptotoxic beta amyloid (Abeta) 1-42 oligomers is proposed to underlie cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Alterations in membrane trafficking induced by Abeta oligomers mediates reduction in neuronal surface receptor expression that is the basis for inhibition of electrophysiological measures of synaptic plasticity and thus learning and memory. We have utilized phenotypic screens in mature, in vitro cultures of rat brain cells to identify small molecules which block or prevent the binding and effects of Abeta oligomers. Synthetic Abeta oligomers bind saturably to a single site on neuronal synapses and induce deficits in membrane trafficking in neuronal cultures with an EC50 that corresponds to its binding affinity. The therapeutic lead compounds we have found are pharmacological antagonists of Abeta oligomers, reducing the binding of Abeta oligomers to neurons in vitro, preventing spine loss in neurons and preventing and treating oligomer-induced deficits in membrane trafficking. These molecules are highly brain penetrant and prevent and restore cognitive deficits in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. Counter-screening these compounds against a broad panel of potential CNS targets revealed they are highly potent and specific ligands of the sigma-2/PGRMC1 receptor. Brain concentrations of the compounds corresponding to greater than 80% receptor occupancy at the sigma-2/PGRMC1 receptor restore cognitive function in transgenic hAPP Swe/Ldn mice. These studies demonstrate that synthetic and human-derived Abeta oligomers act as pharmacologically-behaved ligands at neuronal receptors - i.e. they exhibit saturable binding to a target, they exert a functional effect related to their binding and their displacement by small molecule antagonists blocks their functional effect. The first-in-class small molecule receptor antagonists described here restore memory to normal in multiple AD models and sustain improvement long-term, representing a novel mechanism of action for disease-modifying Alzheimer's therapeutics.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(11):e111898. · 3.53 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The amyloid cascade hypothesis has been the prevailing hypothesis in Alzheimer's Disease research, although the final and most wanted proof i.e. fully successful anti-amyloid clinical trials in patients, is still lacking. This may require a better in depth understanding of the cascade. Particularly, the exact toxic forms of Abeta and Tau, the molecular link between them and their respective contributions to the disease process need to be identified in detail. Although the lack of final proof has raised substantial criticism on the hypothesis per se, accumulating experimental evidence in in vitro models, in vivo models and from biomarkers analysis in patients supports the amyloid cascade and particularly Abeta-induced Tau-pathology, which is the focus of this review. We here discuss available models that recapitulate Abeta-induced Tau-pathology and review some potential underlying mechanisms. The availability and diversity of these models that mimic the amyloid cascade partially or more complete, provide tools to study remaining questions, which are crucial for development of therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer's Disease.Molecular Neurodegeneration 11/2014; 9(1):51. · 5.29 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neuronal gene expression is modulated by activity via calcium-permeable receptors such as NMDA receptors (NMDARs). While gene expression changes downstream of evoked NMDAR activity have been well studied, much less is known about gene expression changes that occur under conditions of basal neuronal activity. In mouse dissociated hippocampal neuronal cultures, we found that a broad NMDAR antagonist, AP5, induced robust gene expression changes under basal activity, but subtype-specific antagonists did not. While some of the gene expression changes are also known to be downstream of stimulated NMDAR activity, others appear specific to basal NMDAR activity. The genes altered by AP5 treatment of basal cultures were enriched for pathways related to class IIa histone deacetylases (HDACs), apoptosis, and synapse-related signaling. Specifically, AP5 altered the expression of all three class IIa HDACs that are highly expressed in the brain, HDAC4, HDAC5, and HDAC9, and also induced nuclear accumulation of HDAC4. HDAC4 knockdown abolished a subset of the gene expression changes induced by AP5, and led to neuronal death under long-term tetrodotoxin or AP5 treatment in rat hippocampal organotypic slice cultures. These data suggest that basal, but not evoked, NMDAR activity regulates gene expression in part through HDAC4, and, that HDAC4 has neuroprotective functions under conditions of low NMDAR activity.Journal of Neuroscience 11/2014; 34(46):15327-39. · 6.75 Impact Factor