In Alzheimer disease (AD), the perturbation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis has been linked to presenilins, the catalytic core in γ-secretase complexes cleaving the amyloid precursor protein (APP), thereby generating amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. Here we investigate whether APP contributes to ER Ca2+ homeostasis and whether ER Ca2+ could in turn influence Aβ production. We show that overexpression of wild-type human APP (APP695), or APP harboring the Swedish double mutation (APPswe) triggers increased ryanodine receptor (RyR) expression and enhances RyR-mediated ER Ca2+ release in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and in APPswe-expressing (Tg2576) mice. Interestingly, dantrolene-induced lowering of RyR-mediated Ca2+ release leads to the reduction of both intracellular and extracellular Aβ load in neuroblastoma cells as well as in primary cultured neurons derived from Tg2576 mice. This Aβ reduction can be accounted for by decreased Thr-668-dependent APP phosphorylation andβ- and γ-secretases activities. Importantly, dantrolene diminishes Aβ load, reduces Aβ-related histological lesions, and slows down learning and memory deficits in Tg2576 mice. Overall, our data document a key role of RyR in Aβ production and learning and memory performances, and delineate RyR-mediated control of Ca2+ homeostasis as a physiological paradigm that could be targeted for innovative therapeutic approaches.
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