Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.293, No.4, 1197-1203, 2002
Mechanism of membrane depolarization caused by the Alzheimer A beta 1-42 peptide
We report a novel observation that the neurotoxic Alzheimer peptide Abeta1-42, when pre-incubated. causes a dramatic and lasting membrane depolarization in differentiated human hNT neuronal cells and in rodent PC12 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. This phenomenon involves activation of the metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGluR(1). Abeta-induced membrane depolarization in PC 12 cells is sensitive to mGluR(1) antagonists and to pertussis and cholera toxins, indicating the involvement of particular G-proteins. The effect is different from the known ability of aggregated Abeta1-42 to cause a calcium influx. Since mGluR(1) agonists mimic the Abeta effect, we deduce that in this cell system glutamate can control the membrane potential and thereby the excitability of its target neurons. We propose that Abeta-induced membrane depolarization described here leads in Alzheimer's disease to hyperexcitability of affected neurons and is a crucially important molecular mechanism for beta-amyloid toxicity and cognitive dysfunction in the disease. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.