Non-fibrillar amyloid-beta peptide reduces NMDA-induced neurotoxicity, but not AMPA-induced neurotoxicity.
ABSTRACT Amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) is thought to be linked to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Recent studies suggest that Abeta has important physiological roles in addition to its pathological roles. We recently demonstrated that Abeta42 protects hippocampal neurons from glutamate-induced neurotoxicity, but the relationship between Abeta42 assemblies and their neuroprotective effects remains largely unknown. In this study, we prepared non-fibrillar and fibrillar Abeta42 based on the results of the thioflavin T assay, Western blot analysis, and atomic force microscopy, and examined the effects of non-fibrillar and fibrillar Abeta42 on glutamate-induced neurotoxicity. Non-fibrillar Abeta42, but not fibrillar Abeta42, protected hippocampal neurons from glutamate-induced neurotoxicity. Furthermore, non-fibrillar Abeta42 decreased both neurotoxicity and increases in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration induced by N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), but not by alpha-amino-3-hydrozy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA). Our results suggest that non-fibrillar Abeta42 protects hippocampal neurons from glutamate-induced neurotoxicity through regulation of the NMDA receptor.