Insulin inhibits Abeta production through modulation of APP processing in a cellular model of Alzheimer's disease.

OBJECTIVE: Amyloid-beta (Abeta) is a 36-43 amino acid peptide that is derived by processing of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP). Abeta plays a central role in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although growing evidence suggests that insulin has important functions in Abeta metabolism, the underlying mechanisms are still unknown.

METHODS: Using an SH-SY5Y cell line overexpressing human APP Swedish mutant (APPsw), we evaluated the effect of insulin on APP processing and Abeta production by using western blot analysist.

RESULTS: Our data showed that administration of insulin reduced the Abeta generation in culture media with a concomitant decreases in the levels of beta-secretase BACE1, secreted extracellular domain (sAPPbeta) and a fragment of 99 amino acids (C99) in APPsw cells. We further showed that insulin increased the levels of alpha-secretase ADAM10, a secreted extracellular domain secreted (sAPPa) and a fragment of 83 amino acids (C83) in APPsw cells.

CONCLUSION: Our present data suggest that insulin could inhibit Abeta production through modulation of APP processing by increasing cleavage at the a-secretase site and decreased cleavage at the beta-secretase sites.

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