Reduced synaptic vesicle density and active zone size in mice lacking amyloid precursor protein (APP) and APP-like protein 2

Guang Yang, Yan Dao Gong, Kai Gong, Wu Ling Jiang, Elaine Kwon, Pei Wang, Hui Zheng, Xiu Fang Zhang, Wen Biao Gan, Nan Ming Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although abnormal processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) leads to early onset of Alzheimer's disease, the normal function of this protein is poorly understood. APP is widely expressed in axons, dendrites, and synapses in both central and peripheral nervous systems. Mice homozygous for APP or its homologue APP-like protein 2 (APLP2) null mutation (KO) are viable, but double mutants for APP and APLP2 deletions (DKO) are early postnatal lethal. To investigate the role of APP in synapse development, we compared the ultrastructure of submandibular ganglion synapses between DKO and littermate APLP2 KO mice at birth. Using serial electron microscopy, we found that the size of presynaptic boutons and the number of active zones per bouton were comparable in both strains of animals. However, the synaptic vesicle density, active zone size, and docked vesicle number per active zone were significantly reduced in DKO compared to those in APLP2 KO. These results indicate that the APP family of proteins plays an important role in regulating the formation and function of inter-neuronal synapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-71
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume384
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 12 2005

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid precursor protein
  • Amyloid precursor-like protein
  • Electron microscopy
  • Submandibular ganglion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Yang, G., Gong, Y. D., Gong, K., Jiang, W. L., Kwon, E., Wang, P., Zheng, H., Zhang, X. F., Gan, W. B., & Zhao, N. M. (2005). Reduced synaptic vesicle density and active zone size in mice lacking amyloid precursor protein (APP) and APP-like protein 2. Neuroscience Letters, 384(1-2), 66-71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2005.04.040