Substrate-bound β-amyloid peptides inhibit cell adhesion and neurite outgrowth in primary neuronal cultures
journal contributionposted on 2000-03-01, 00:00 authored by R B Postuma, W He, J Nunan, K Beyreuther, C L Masters, Colin BarrowColin Barrow, D H Small
Accumulation of the beta-amyloid protein (Abeta) in the brain is an important step in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. However, the mechanism of Abeta toxicity remains unclear. Abeta can bind to the extracellular matrix, a structure that regulates adhesive events such as neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis. The binding of Abeta to the extracellular matrix suggests that Abeta may disrupt cell-substrate interactions. Therefore, the effect of substrate-bound Abeta on the growth of isolated chick sympathetic and mouse cortical neurons was examined. Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 had dose-dependent effects on cell morphology. When tissue culture plates were coated with 0.1-10 ng/well Abeta, neurite outgrowth increased. Higher amounts of Abeta peptides (> or =3 microg/well) inhibited outgrowth. The inhibitory effect was related to aggregation of the peptide, as preincubation of Abeta1-40 for 24 h at 37 degrees C (a process known to increase amyloid fibril formation) was necessary for inhibition of neurite outgrowth. Abeta29-42, but not Abeta1-28, also inhibited neurite outgrowth at high concentrations, demonstrating that the inhibitory domain is located within the hydrophobic C-terminal region. Abeta1-40, Abeta1-42, and Abeta29-42 also inhibited cell-substrate adhesion, indicating that the effect on neurite outgrowth may have been due to inhibition of cell adhesion. The results suggest that accumulation of Abeta may disrupt cell-adhesion mechanisms in vivo.