The hypothesis that amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides are the primary cause of Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains the best supported theory of AD pathogenesis. Yet, many observations are inconsistent with the hypothesis. Aβ peptides are generated when amyloid precursor protein (APP) is cleaved by presenilins, a process that also produces APP intracellular domain (AICD). We previously generated AICD-overexpressing transgenic mice that showed abnormal activation of GSK-3β, a pathological feature of AD. We now report that these mice exhibit additional AD-like characteristics, including hyperphosphorylation and aggregation of tau, neurodegeneration and working memory deficits that are prevented by treatment with lithium, a GSK-3β inhibitor. Consistent with its potential role in AD pathogenesis, we find AICD levels to be elevated in brains from AD patients. The in vivo findings that AICD can contribute to AD pathology independently of Aβ have important therapeutic implications and may explain some observations that are discordant with the amyloid hypothesis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Dec 4 2009|
- Amyloid precursor protein
- Tau hyperphosphorylation
ASJC Scopus subject areas