Oligomeric forms of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) are thought to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the mechanism involved is still unclear. Here, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from familial and sporadic AD patients and differentiated them into neural cells. Aβ oligomers accumulated in iPSC-derived neurons and astrocytes in cells from patients with a familial amyloid precursor protein (APP)-E693Δ mutation and sporadic AD, leading to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and oxidative stress. The accumulated Aβ oligomers were not proteolytically resistant, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) treatment alleviated the stress responses in the AD neural cells. Differential manifestation of ER stress and DHA responsiveness may help explain variable clinical results obtained with the use of DHA treatment and suggests that DHA may in fact be effective for a subset of patients. It also illustrates how patient-specific iPSCs can be useful for analyzing AD pathogenesis and evaluating drugs.
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