The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Reduced amyloid deposition in mice overexpressing RTN3 is adversely affected by preformed dystrophic neurites.

PMID 19625507


Reticulon 3 (RTN3) was initially identified as a negative modulator of BACE1, an enzyme that cleaves amyloid precursor protein (APP) to release beta-amyloid peptide. Interestingly, RTN3 can also form aggregates after accumulation, and increased RTN3 aggregation correlates with the formation of RTN3 immunoreactive dystrophic neurites (RIDNs) in brains of Alzheimer's cases. Transgenic mice expressing RTN3 alone develop RIDNs in their hippocampus but not in their cortex. To determine the in vivo effects of RTN3 and preformed RIDNs on amyloid deposition, we crossed bitransgenic mice expressing APP and presenilin 1 (PS1) mutations with mice overexpressing RTN3. We found that amyloid deposition in cortex, the hippocampal CA3 region, and dentate gyrus was significantly reduced in triple transgenic mice compared with bitransgenic controls. However, reduction of amyloid deposition in the hippocampal CA1 region, where RIDNs predominantly formed before amyloid deposition, was less significant. Hence, preformed RTN3 aggregates in RIDNs clearly offset the negative modulation of BACE1 activity by RTN3. Furthermore, our study indicates that the increased expression of RTN3 could result in an alteration of BACE1 intracellular trafficking by retaining more BACE1 in the endoplasmic reticulum compartment where cleavage of APP by BACE1 is less favored. Our results suggest that inhibition of RTN3 aggregation is likely to be beneficial by reducing both amyloid deposition and the formation RIDNs.

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