Increased levels of brain amyloid-β, a secreted peptide cleavage product of amyloid precursor protein (APP), is believed to be critical in the aetiology of Alzheimer’s disease1. Increased amyloid-β can cause synaptic depression2,3, reduce the number of spine protrusions (that is, sites of synaptic contacts)4,5 and block long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP)6,7, a form of synaptic plasticity; however, the receptor through which amyloid-β produces these synaptic perturbations has remained elusive. Laurén et al.8 suggested that binding between oligomeric amyloid-β (a form of amyloid-β thought to be most active5,6,9,10,11) and the cellular prion protein (PrPC)8 is necessary for synaptic perturbations. Here we show that PrPC is not required for amyloid-β-induced synaptic depression, reduction in spine density, or blockade of LTP; our results indicate that amyloid-β-mediated synaptic defects do not require PrPc.
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Kessels, H., Nguyen, L., Nabavi, S. et al. The prion protein as a receptor for amyloid-β. Nature 466, E3–E4 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09217
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