Cell cycle reentry triggers hyperploidization and synaptic dysfunction followed by delayed cell death in differentiated cortical neurons

Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 25;8(1):14316. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32708-4.


Cell cycle reentry followed by neuronal hyperploidy and synaptic failure are two early hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), however their functional connection remains unexplored. To address this question, we induced cell cycle reentry in cultured cortical neurons by expressing SV40 large T antigen. Cell cycle reentry was followed by hyperploidy in ~70% of cortical neurons, and led to progressive axon initial segment loss and reduced density of dendritic PSD-95 puncta, which correlated with diminished spike generation and reduced spontaneous synaptic activity. This manipulation also resulted in delayed cell death, as previously observed in AD-affected hyperploid neurons. Membrane depolarization by high extracellular potassium maintained PSD-95 puncta density and partially rescued both spontaneous synaptic activity and cell death, while spike generation remained blocked. This suggests that AD-associated hyperploid neurons can be sustained in vivo if integrated in active neuronal circuits whilst promoting synaptic dysfunction. Thus, cell cycle reentry might contribute to cognitive impairment in early stages of AD and neuronal death susceptibility at late stages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle*
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Polyploidy
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Calcium