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J Neurochem. 1997 Oct;69(4):1580-91.

Caffeine stimulates amyloid beta-peptide release from beta-amyloid precursor protein-transfected HEK293 cells.

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Department of Biomedical Research, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, U.S.A.


Extracellular amyloid beta-peptide (A beta) deposition is a pathological feature of Alzheimer's disease and the aging brain. Intracellular A beta accumulation is observed in the human muscle disease, inclusion body myositis. A beta has been reported to be toxic to neurons through disruption of normal calcium homeostasis. The pathogenic role of A beta in inclusion body myositis is not as clear. Elevation of intracellular calcium following application of calcium ionophore increases the generation of A beta from its precursor protein (betaAPP). A receptor-based mechanism for the increase in A beta production has not been reported to our knowledge. Here, we use caffeine to stimulate ryanodine receptor (RYR)-regulated intracellular calcium release channels and show that internal calcium stores also participate in the genesis of A beta. In cultured HEK293 cells transfected with betaAPP cDNA, caffeine (5-10 mM) significantly increased the release of A beta fourfold compared with control. These actions of caffeine were saturable, modulated by ryanodine, and inhibited by the RYR antagonists ruthenium red and procaine. The calcium reuptake inhibitors thapsigargin and cyclopiazonic acid potentiated caffeine-stimulated A beta release. NH4Cl and monensin, agents that alter acidic gradients in intracellular vesicles, abolished both the caffeine and ionophore effects. Immunocytochemical studies showed some correspondence between the distribution patterns of RYR and cellular betaAPP immunoreactivities. The relevance of these findings to Alzheimer's disease and inclusion body myositis is discussed.

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