Alzheimer's disease (AD) induces memory and cognitive impairment in the absence of motor and sensory deficits during its early and middle course. A major unresolved question is the basis for this selective neuronal vulnerability. Aβ, which plays a central role in AD pathogenesis, is generated throughout the brain, yet some regions outside of the limbic and cerebral cortices are relatively spared from Aβ plaque deposition and synapse loss. Here, we examine neurons derived from iPSCs of patients harboring an amyloid precursor protein mutation to quantify AD-relevant phenotypes following directed differentiation to rostral fates of the brain (vulnerable) and caudal fates (relatively spared) in AD. We find that both the generation of Aβ and the responsiveness of TAU to Aβ are affected by neuronal cell type, with rostral neurons being more sensitive than caudal neurons. Thus, cell-autonomous factors may in part dictate the pattern of selective regional vulnerability in human neurons in AD.
Keywords: Abeta; Alzheimer's disease; Tau; amyloid; differential susceptibility; disease modeling; familial AD; iPSCs; neural stem cells; selective vulnerability.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.