Monomeric ß-amyloid interacts with type-1 insulin-like growth factor receptors to provide energy supply to neurons

Maria L. Giuffrida, Marianna F. Tomasello, Giuseppe Pandini, Filippo Caraci, Giuseppe Battaglia, Carla Busceti, Paola Di Pietro, Giuseppe Pappalardo, Francesco Attanasio, Santina Chiechio, Silvia Bagnoli, Benedetta Nacmias, Sandro Sorbi, Riccardo Vigneri, Enrico Rizzarelli, Ferdinando Nicoletti, Agata Copani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ß-amyloid (Aß1−42) is produced by proteolytic cleavage of the transmembrane type-1 protein, amyloid precursor protein. Under pathological conditions, Aß1−42self-aggregates into oligomers, which cause synaptic dysfunction and neuronal loss, and are considered the culprit of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, Aß1−42is mainly monomeric at physiological concentrations, and the precise role of monomeric Aß1−42 in neuronal function is largely unknown. We report that the monomer of Aß1−42 activates type-1 insulin-like growth factor receptors and enhances glucose uptake in neurons and peripheral cells by promoting the translocation of the Glut3 glucose transporter from the cytosol to the plasma membrane. In neurons, activity-dependent glucose uptake was blunted after blocking endogenous Aß production, and re-established in the presence of cerebrospinal fluid Aß. APP-null neurons failed to enhance depolarization-stimulated glucose uptake unless exogenous monomeric Aß1−42 was added. These data suggest that Aß1−42 monomers were critical for maintaining neuronal glucose homeostasis. Accordingly, exogenous Aß1−42 monomers were able to rescue the low levels of glucose consumption observed in brain slices from AD mutant mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number297
JournalFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Issue numberAUGUST
Publication statusPublished - Aug 7 2015


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Glucose
  • Glut3
  • IGF-IR
  • ß-amyloid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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