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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2000 Dec 28;85(1-2):221-33.

JNK activation is associated with intracellular beta-amyloid accumulation.

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  • 1Toyama Pharmaceutical Co. 2-4-1, Shimo-okui, Toyama 930-8508, Japan.


c-Jun has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the upstream cascade leading to c-Jun activation in AD is not known. Activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) is obviously a candidate for the upstream event. We tested this possibility focusing on PS1-linked AD. First, we observed that JNK is actually activated in cerebral neurons of PS1-linked AD patients, using immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses with anti-activated JNK antibodies. We analyzed the relationship between beta-amyloid (beta A) and JNK activation by using aged transgenic mice overexpressing mutant (M146L) PS1 and human AD brains. The mice showed no neuronal loss but a very few diffuse beta A deposits, corresponding to the early stage of PS1-linked AD brain. Some neurons were reactive for anti-beta A antibodies in the cerebral cortex. Interestingly, JNK activation was observed in neurons showing intracellular beta A immunoreactivity in transgenic mice. Association between intracellular beta A and JNK activation was confirmed in cortical neurons of sporadic and PS1-linked AD patients. Furthermore, introduction of beta A peptides into the primary culture cortical neurons induced JNK activation and cell death. Collectively, these results suggested that intracellular beta A accumulation might trigger JNK activation leading to neuronal death.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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