Endoplasmic reticulum stress responses in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease: Overexpression paradigm versus knockin paradigm

J Biol Chem. 2018 Mar 2;293(9):3118-3125. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.811315. Epub 2018 Jan 3.


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is believed to play an important role in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The accumulation of misfolded proteins and perturbation of intracellular calcium homeostasis are thought to underlie the induction of ER stress, resulting in neuronal dysfunction and cell death. Several reports have shown an increased ER stress response in amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin1 (PS1) double-transgenic (Tg) AD mouse models. However, whether the ER stress observed in these mouse models is actually caused by AD pathology remains unclear. APP and PS1 contain one and nine transmembrane domains, respectively, for which it has been postulated that overexpressed membrane proteins can become wedged in a misfolded configuration in ER membranes, thereby inducing nonspecific ER stress. Here, we used an App-knockin (KI) AD mouse model that accumulates amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide without overexpressing APP to investigate whether the ER stress response is heightened because of Aβ pathology. Thorough examinations indicated that no ER stress responses arose in App-KI or single APP-Tg mice. These results suggest that PS1 overexpression or mutation induced a nonspecific ER stress response that was independent of Aβ pathology in the double-Tg mice. Moreover, we observed no ER stress in a mouse model of tauopathy (P301S-Tau-Tg mice) at various ages, suggesting that ER stress is also not essential in tau pathology-induced neurodegeneration. We conclude that the role of ER stress in AD pathogenesis needs to be carefully addressed in future studies.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease; amyloid precursor protein (APP); amyloid-β (Aβ); endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress); presenilin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Knock-In Techniques*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL