Amyloid precursor protein potentiates the neurotrophic activity of NGF

Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1997 Dec 15;52(2):201-12. doi: 10.1016/s0169-328x(97)00258-1.


Cortical amyloid precursor protein (APP) is induced and secreted in response to subcortical lesions of cholinergic innervation. To understand the physiological role of the induced APP, we have characterized its neurotrophic activity on PC12 cells. Highly purified human APP751 (50-1000 pM) induced outgrowth of neurites. The neurotrophic activity was inhibited by an antibody that was directed to the C-terminal portion of the secreted APP but not by an antibody directed to the KPI domain. The neurotrophic activity of APP was independent of the TrkA NGF receptor because neither phospholipase C-gamma1 nor TrkA exhibited tyrosine phosphorylations with APP treatment. Furthermore, APP stimulated neurite outgrowth from PC12 cells lacking TrkA receptors. At lower concentrations (10-50 pM), APP synergistically potentiated the neurotrophic effects of NGF when added with NGF or before NGF as a priming pretreatment. These results implicate APP, a rapidly induced protein in the injured cortex, as a potentiating agent that may render compromised neurons more responsive to low levels of NGF or other neurotrophins.

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / biosynthesis
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / isolation & purification
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Drug Synergism
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Kinetics
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology*
  • Neurites / drug effects
  • Neurites / physiology*
  • PC12 Cells
  • Phospholipases / metabolism
  • Phosphotyrosine / analysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / drug effects
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Receptor, trkA
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor / drug effects
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor / physiology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Transfection


  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Antibodies
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Phosphotyrosine
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, trkA
  • Phospholipases