The abnormal processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) is a pivotal event in the development of the unique pathology that defines Alzheimer's disease (AD). Stress, and the associated increase in corticosteroids, appear to accelerate brain ageing and may increase vulnerability to Alzheimer's disease via altered APP processing. In this study, rats were repeatedly exposed to an unavoidable stressor, an open elevated platform. Previous studies in this laboratory have shown that a single exposure produces a marked increase in plasma corticosterone levels but animals develop tolerance to this effect between 10 and 20 daily sessions. Twenty-four hours after stress, there was an increase in the ratio of the deglycosylated form of APP in the particulate fraction of the brain, which subsequently habituated after 20 days. The levels of soluble APP (APPs) tended to be lower in the stress groups compared to controls except for a significant increase in the hippocampus after 20 days of platform exposure. Since APPs is reported to have neurotrophic properties, this increased release may represent a neuroprotective response to repeated stress. It is possible that the ability to mount this response decreases with age thus increasing the vulnerability to stress-induced AD-related pathology. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
- elevated platform
- Alzheimer's disease