Impact of Vitamin D on Amyloid Precursor Protein Processing and Amyloid-β Peptide Degradation in Alzheimer's Disease

Neurodegener Dis. 2014;13(2-3):75-81.


Ninety percent of the elderly population has a vitamin D hypovitaminosis, and several lines of evidence suggest that there might be a potential causal link between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and a non-sufficient supply with vitamin D. However, the mechanisms linking AD to vitamin D have not been completely understood. The aim of our study is to elucidate the impact of 25(OH) vitamin D3 on amyloid precursor protein processing in mice and N2A cells utilizing very moderate and physiological vitamin D hypovitaminosis in the range of 20-30% compared to wild-type mice. We found that already under such mild conditions, amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) is significantly increased, which is caused by an increased β-secretase activity and BACE1 protein level. Additionally, neprilysin (NEP) expression is downregulated resulting in a decreased NEP activity further enhancing the effect of decreased vitamin D on the Aβ level. In line with the in vivo findings, corresponding effects were found with N2A cells supplemented with 25(OH) vitamin D3. Our results further strengthen the link between AD and vitamin D3 and suggest that supplementation of vitamin D3 might have a beneficial effect in AD prevention

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