Amyloid β (Aβ) plays a central role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and binds to the nicotinic α(7) receptor (α(7) nAChR). Little is known about the degree to which the binding of Aβ to the α(7) nAChR influences the role of this receptor in long-term potentiation (LTP), however. We have studied the effect of the partial α(7) nAChR agonist SSR180711 on hippocampal slice preparations from normal wild type (Wt) and APP(swe)/PS1ΔE9 transgenic (Tg) mice. In the hippocampal slices from the 6 months old Wt mice, the application of both nicotine (5μM) and SSR180711 (300nM) resulted in a significant enhancement of LTP expressed in area CA1. However, in the Tg mice the application of SSR180711 did not result in an increase in LTP beyond control levels. The amount of binding of the α(7) nAChR ligand 125-I-α-bungarotoxin was not different between in Tg and Wt mice. These findings indicate that the α(7) nAChR is functionally blocked in the hippocampal neurons, downstream of the α(7) nAChR, and that this is likely due to an interaction between the receptor and Aβ, which leads to changes in LTP.
Copyright Â© 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.