• Alzheimer's disease;
  • Degeneration;
  • Differentiation;
  • Proteolysis;
  • Neurotrophic peptides

Abstract: P19 is a C3H mouse-derived line of multipotent embryonic carcinoma cells that differentiate into neural cells. P19 cell clones overexpressing the three major forms of β-amyloid precursor protein from their cDNA constructs were established. Unlike a previous study in which P19-derived neurons had a limited α-secretase activity, all of these clones produced significant amounts of secreted β-amyloid precursor protein. When treated with retinoic acid, these transformed lines differentiated into neurons and survived better than did nontransformed parental P19 cells. Furthermore, P19-derived neurons survived better in medium conditioned by the transformed P19 line, and survival was reduced by immunoabsorption with an antibody to β-amyloid precursor protein. These results suggest neurotrophic effects of secreted β-amyloid precursor protein and contrast with a previous report in which overexpression of a full-length cDNA for β-amyloid precursor protein led to degeneration of P19-derived neurons. Western blot analysis suggested that this difference might result from different levels of expression of putative neurotoxic C-terminal fragments of β-amyloid precursor protein; moreover, P19-derived neurons differ from P19 stem cells in the processing of these C-terminal fragments.