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J Neurochem. 2008 Oct;107(1):279-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05606.x. Epub 2008 Aug 7.

Reduced retinal function in amyloid precursor protein-over-expressing transgenic mice via attenuating glutamate-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor signaling.

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Department of Biofunctional Evaluation, Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu, Japan.


Here, we examined whether amyloid-beta (Abeta) protein participates in cell death and retinal function using three types of transgenic (Tg) mice in vivo [human mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP) Tg (Tg 2576) mice, mutant presenilin-1 (PS-1) knock-in mice, and APP/PS-1 double Tg mice]. ELISA revealed that the insoluble form of Abeta(1-40) was markedly accumulated in the retinas of APP and APP/PS-1, but not PS-1 Tg, mice (vs. wild-type mice). In APP Tg and APP/PS-1 Tg mice, immunostaining revealed accumulations of intracellular Abeta(1-42) in retinal ganglion cells and in the inner and outer nuclear layers. APP Tg and APP/PS-1 Tg, but not PS-1 Tg, mice had less NMDA-induced retinal damage than wild-type mice, and the reduced damage in APP/PS-1 Tg mice was diminished by the pre-treatment of N-[N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl)-l-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester, a gamma-secretase inhibitor. Furthermore, the number of TUNEL-positive cells was significantly less in ganglion cell layer of APP/PS-1 Tg mice than PS-1 Tg mice 24 h after NMDA injection. The phosphorylated form of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIalpha (CaMKIIalpha), but not total CaMKIIalpha or total NMDA receptor 1 (NR1) subunit, in total retinal extracts was decreased in non-treated retinas of APP/PS-1 Tg mice (vs. wild-type mice). CaMKIIalpha and NR2B proteins, but not NR1, in retinal membrane fraction were significantly decreased in APP/PS-1 Tg mice as compared with wild-type mice. The NMDA-induced increase in p-CaMKIIalpha in the retina was also lower in APP/PS-1 Tg mice than in wild-type mice. In electroretinogram and visual-evoked potential recordings, the implicit time to each peak from a light stimulus was prolonged in APP/PS-1 mice versus wild-type mice. Hence, Abeta may impair retinal function by reducing activation of NMDA-receptor signaling pathways.

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