Age-dependent accumulation of soluble amyloid beta (Abeta) oligomers reverses the neuroprotective effect of soluble amyloid precursor protein-alpha (sAPP(alpha)) by modulating phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt-GSK-3beta pathway in Alzheimer mouse m
Neurotrophins, activating the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, control neuronal survival and plasticity. Alterations in NGF, BDNF, IGF-1, or insulin signaling are implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. We have previously characterized a bigenic PS1×APP transgenic mouse displaying early hippocampal A? deposition (3 to 4 months) but late (17 to 18 months) neurodegeneration of pyramidal cells, paralleled to the accumulation of soluble A? oligomers. We hypothesized that PI3K/Akt/GSK-3? signaling pathway could be involved in this apparent age-dependent neuroprotective/neurodegenerative status. In fact, our data demonstrated that, as compared with age-matched nontransgenic controls, the Ser-9 phosphorylation of GSK-3? was increased in the 6-month PS1×APP hippocampus, whereas in aged PS1×APP animals (18 months), GSK-3? phosphorylation levels displayed a marked decrease. Using N2a and primary neuronal cell cultures, we demonstrated that soluble amyloid precursor protein-? (sAPP?), the predominant APP-derived fragment in young PS1×APP mice, acting through IGF-1 and/or insulin receptors, activated the PI3K/Akt pathway, phosphorylated the GSK-3? activity, and in consequence, exerted a neuroprotective action. On the contrary, several oligomeric A? forms, present in the soluble fractions of aged PS1×APP mice, inhibited the induced phosphorylation of Akt/GSK-3? and decreased the neuronal survival. Furthermore, synthetic A? oligomers blocked the effect mediated by different neurotrophins (NGF, BDNF, insulin, and IGF-1) and sAPP?, displaying high selectivity for NGF. In conclusion, the age-dependent appearance of APP-derived soluble factors modulated the PI3K/Akt/GSK-3? signaling pathway through the major neurotrophin receptors. sAPP? stimulated and A? oligomers blocked the prosurvival signaling. Our data might provide insights into the selective vulnerability of specific neuronal groups in Alzheimer disease.