The abundance of amyloid beta peptide (A beta) and the selective loss of neurons are characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease. However, subpopulations of brain cells survive, including neurons near A beta-rich plaques. The surviving neurons may have gene expression profiles that allow them to be resistant to A beta toxicity.
Here we use the differential display technique to compare the profiles of gene expression in an A beta-resistant cell line with its parental cells. Prominent among the changes are two components of the endosomal-lysosomal system, insulin growth factor II receptor/mannose-6-phosphate receptor and arylsulfatase B. Both are more highly expressed in the A beta-resistant clone, and arylsulfatase is inducible by A beta and hydrogen peroxide. Another lysosomal enzyme, beta-glucuronidase, is also up-regulated in A beta-resistant cells.
These results are consistent with the observation that the endosomal-lysosomal system is highly activated in Alzheimer’s disease brains, and they raise the possibility that the high expression of endosomal-lysosomal components is important for neuronal survival in the presence of A beta.
Source: J Neurochem 1999 Oct;73(4):1477-82
PMID: 105 01192, UI: 99429300
(The Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, USA. )