Fibroblasts of patients affected by Down's syndrome oversecrete amyloid precursor protein and are hyporesponsive to protein kinase C stimulation

S. Govoni, S. Bergamaschi, L. Gasparini, C. Quaglia, M. Racchi, E. Cattaneo, G. Binetti, A. Bianchetti, F. Giovetti, F. Battaini, M. Trabucchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study investigates the ability of the pharmacologic activation of protein kinase C (PKC) to modulate amyloid precursor protein (APP) secretion in human skin fibroblasts from patients affected by Down's syndrome (DS). We assessed DS subjects at the Hospital Institute of Sospiro, Cremona, and at the Alzheimer's Disease Unit of the Sacred Heart Hospital in Brescia, and we subdivided them into nondemented (NDS) and demented (DDS) patients. All DS patients were trisomy 21 karyotype. DS fibroblasts had an increased content of APP immunoreactive material as revealed by immunocytochemistry analysis. The basal secretion of soluble APP was higher (+94.6%) in Down's cells with respect to controls. The observation on the fibroblasts prepared from DS is consistent with these patients' possessing an extra copy of the APP gene (mapped on chromosome 21) leading to increased APP expression. Phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate (PdBu, 9 to 150 nM) treatment promoted a dose-dependent increase of secreted APP in the conditioned medium of control fibroblasts. The peak response (+102.2%) was attained using 150 nM PdBu. In Down's fibroblasts, PdBu stimulated APP secretion already maximally at low concentrations (9 nM), but the peak response, due to the higher basal release, was lower on a percentage basis (+16.4%) than in control fibroblasts. The results indicate that in Down's fibroblasts the mechanisms controlling APP release are at least quantitatively altered. In addition, these results suggest caution when using information obtained from Down's patients to model Alzheimer's disease biochemical defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1075
Number of pages7
JournalNeurology
Volume47
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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