The secreted beta-amyloid precursor protein ectodomain APPs alpha is sufficient to rescue the anatomical, behavioral, and electrophysiological abnormalities of APP-deficient mice
ABSTRACT It is well established that the proteolytic processing of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) generates beta-amyloid (Abeta), which plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In contrast, the physiological role of APP and of its numerous proteolytic fragments and the question of whether a loss of these functions contributes to AD are still unknown. To address this question, we replaced the endogenous APP locus by gene-targeted alleles and generated two lines of knock-in mice that exclusively express APP deletion variants corresponding either to the secreted APP ectodomain (APPs alpha) or to a C-terminal (CT) truncation lacking the YENPTY interaction motif (APPdeltaCT15). Interestingly, the deltaCT15 deletion resulted in reduced turnover of holoAPP, increased cell surface expression, and strongly reduced Abeta levels in brain, likely because of reduced processing in the endocytic pathway. Most importantly, we demonstrate that in both APP knock-in lines the expression of APP N-terminal domains either grossly attenuated or completely rescued the prominent deficits of APP knock-out mice, such as reductions in brain and body weight, grip strength deficits, alterations in circadian locomotor activity, exploratory activity, and the impairment in spatial learning and long-term potentiation. Together, our data suggest that the APP C terminus is dispensable and that APPs alpha is sufficient to mediate the physiological functions of APP assessed by these tests.
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ABSTRACT: The Amyloid precursor protein (APP) plays a central role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and has essential synapse promoting functions. Synaptogenic activity as well as cell adhesion properties of APP presumably depend on trans-cellular dimerization via its extracellular domain. Since neuronal APP is extensively processed by secretases, it raises the question if APP shedding affects its cell adhesion and synaptogenic properties. We show that inhibition of APP shedding using cleavage deficient forms of APP or a dominant negative α-secretase strongly enhanced its cell adhesion and synaptogenic activity suggesting that synapse promoting function of APP is tightly regulated by α-secretase mediated processing, similar to other trans-cellular synaptic adhesion molecules.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 11/2014; 8(410). DOI:10.3389/fncel.2014.00410 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The key role of APP in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease is well established. However, postnatal lethality of double knockout mice has so far precluded the analysis of the physiological functions of APP and the APLPs in the brain. Previously, APP family proteins have been implicated in synaptic adhesion, and analysis of the neuromuscular junction of constitutive APP/APLP2 mutant mice showed deficits in synaptic morphology and neuromuscular transmission. Here, we generated animals with a conditional APP/APLP2 double knockout (cDKO) in excitatory forebrain neurons using NexCre mice. Electrophysiological recordings of adult NexCre cDKOs indicated a strong synaptic phenotype with pronounced deficits in the induction and maintenance of hippocampal LTP and impairments in paired pulse facilitation, indicating a possible presynaptic deficit. These deficits were also reflected in impairments in nesting behavior and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory tasks, including deficits in Morris water maze and radial maze performance. Moreover, while no gross alterations of brain morphology were detectable in NexCre cDKO mice, quantitative analysis of adult hippocampal CA1 neurons revealed prominent reductions in total neurite length, dendritic branching, reduced spine density and reduced spine head volume. Strikingly, the impairment of LTP could be selectively rescued by acute application of exogenous recombinant APPsα, but not APPsβ, indicating a crucial role for APPsα to support synaptic plasticity of mature hippocampal synapses on a rapid time scale. Collectively, our analysis reveals an essential role of APP family proteins in excitatory principal neurons for mediating normal dendritic architecture, spine density and morphology, synaptic plasticity and cognition.Acta Neuropathologica 11/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00401-014-1368-x · 9.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Impaired neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus has been implicated in AD pathogenesis. Here we reveal that the APP plays an important role in the neural progenitor proliferation and newborn neuron maturation in the mouse dentate gyrus. APP controls adult neurogenesis through a noncell-autonomous mechanism by GABAergic neurons, as selective deletion of GABAergic, but not glutamatergic, APP disrupts adult hippocampal neurogenesis. APP, highly expressed in the majority of GABAergic neurons in the dentate gyrus, enhances the inhibitory tone to granule cells. By regulating both tonic and phasic GABAergic inputs to dentate granule cells, APP maintains excitatory-inhibitory balance and preserves cognitive functions. Our studies uncover an indispensable role of APP in the GABAergic system for controlling adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and our findings indicate that APP dysfunction may contribute to impaired neurogenesis and cognitive decline associated with AD.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 10/2014; 34(40):13314-25. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2848-14.2014 · 6.75 Impact Factor