Beta-amyloid disrupted synaptic vesicle endocytosis in cultured hippocampal neurons

B. L. Kelly, A. Ferreira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Neuronal death leading to gross brain atrophy is commonly seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Yet, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the pathogenesis of AD involves early and more discrete synaptic changes in affected brain areas. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie such synaptic dysfunction remain largely unknown. Recently, we have identified dynamin 1, a protein that plays a critical role in synaptic vesicle endocytosis, and hence, in the signaling properties of the synapse, as a potential molecular determinant of such dysfunction in AD. In the present study, we analyzed beta-amyloid (Aβ)-induced changes in synaptic vesicle recycling in rat cultured hippocampal neurons. Our results showed that Aβ, the main component of senile plaques, caused ultrastructural changes indicative of impaired synaptic vesicle endocytosis in cultured hippocampal neurons that have been stimulated by depolarization with high potassium. In addition, Aβ led to the accumulation of amphiphysin in membrane fractions from stimulated hippocampal neurons. Moreover, experiments using FM1-43 showed reduced dye uptake in stimulated hippocampal neurons treated with Aβ when compared with untreated stimulated controls. Similar results were obtained using a dynamin 1 inhibitory peptide suggesting that dynamin 1 depletion caused deficiency in synaptic vesicle recycling not only in Drosophila but also in mammalian neurons. Collectively, these results showed that Aβ caused a disruption of synaptic vesicle endocytosis in cultured hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, we provided evidence suggesting that Aβ-induced dynamin 1 depletion might play an important role in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-70
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 15 2007


  • FM1-43
  • amphiphysin
  • beta-amyloid
  • endocytosis
  • synaptic dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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