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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2009 Aug;41(4):420-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2009.04.012. Epub 2009 May 7.

Alzheimer beta-amyloid blocks epileptiform activity in hippocampal neurons.

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Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Department of Physiology, University of Concepción, Chile.


Several studies showed that hippocampal neurons respond with an increase in synaptic transmission after chronic blockade of GABA(A) receptors with bicuculline, a neuroplastic phenomenon likely associated to epileptiform states. Here, we tested the effect of Abeta(1-40) oligomers/aggregates, believed to be involved in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) genesis, on this type of synaptic plasticity. In the presence of bicuculline, the frequency of miniature currents increased from 1.2+/-0.4 Hz to 3.1+/-0.6 Hz (n=6, p<0.05). Similarly, current amplitude increased from 45+/-3 pA to 81+/-11 pA (n=5, p<0.05). These effects were completely inhibited in the presence of Abeta(1-40) aggregates. Data suggest that Abeta aggregates exert their influence principally by blocking synaptic transmission and altering the transcriptional pathway associated with CREB-p. In conclusion, neurons exposed to aggregated Abeta(1-40) showed a reduced level of neuronal plasticity and this suggests that they might be acting as anti-epileptiform modulators.

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