|Activation of extrasynaptic, but not synaptic, NMDA receptors modifies amyloid precursor protein expression pattern and increases amyloid-ß production. |
Bordji, K; Becerril-Ortega, J; Nicole, O; Buisson, A
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Calcium is a key mediator controlling essential neuronal functions depending on electrical activity. Altered neuronal calcium homeostasis affects metabolism of amyloid precursor protein (APP), leading to increased production of β-amyloid (Aβ), and contributing to the initiation of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A linkage between excessive glutamate receptor activation and neuronal Aβ release was established, and recent reports suggest that synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activation may have distinct consequences in plasticity, gene regulation, and neuronal death. Here, we report for the first time that prolonged activation of extrasynaptic NMDAR, but not synaptic NMDAR, dramatically increased the neuronal production of Aβ. This effect was preceded by a shift from APP695 to Kunitz protease inhibitory domain (KPI) containing APPs (KPI-APPs), isoforms exhibiting an important amyloidogenic potential. Conversely, after synaptic NMDAR activation, we failed to detect any KPI-APP expression and neuronal Aβ production was not modified. Calcium imaging data showed that intracellular calcium concentration after extrasynaptic NMDAR stimulation was lower than after synaptic activation. This suggests distinct signaling pathways for each pool of receptors. We found that modification of neuronal APP expression pattern triggered by extrasynaptic NMDAR activation was regulated at an alternative splicing level involving calcium-/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV, but overall APP expression remained identical. Finally, memantine dose-dependently inhibited extrasynaptic NMDAR-induced KPI-APPs expression as well as neuronal Aβ release. Altogether, these data suggest that a chronic activation of extrasynaptic NMDAR promotes amyloidogenic KPI-APP expression leading to neuronal Aβ release, representing a causal risk factor for developing AD.