Anti-autophagic and anti-apoptotic effects of memantine in a SH-SY5Y cell model of Alzheimer's disease via mammalian target of rapamycin-dependent and -independent pathways
- Guijun Song
- Yu Li
- Lulu Lin
- Yunpeng Cao
Affiliations: Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning 110001, P.R. China
- Published online on: September 29, 2015 https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2015.4382
Copyright: © Song
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Memantine non-competitively blocks the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in order to inhibit beta-amyloid (Aβ) secretion, and has been used to treat moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the mechanisms underlying the role of memantine in the autophagy and apoptosis of neuronal cells in AD, as well as the association between neuronal autophagy and apoptosis have yet to be elucidated. The present study aimed to establish an AD cell model overexpressing the 695‑amino‑acid Swedish mutant of Aβ precursor protein (APP695swe) in order to observe the effects of memantine on the cell viability, autophagy and apoptosis of SH‑SY5Y cells in the AD model, and to investigate the associated underlying mechanisms. A pcDNA3.1‑APP695 plasmid was transfected into the SH‑SY5Y cells. Reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analyses demonstrated that the AD cell model was successfully established. MTT assays demonstrated that memantine was able to upregulate neuronal cell survival, and acridine orange staining and flow cytometry demonstrated that memantine (5 µM) was able to inhibit neuronal autophagy and apoptosis. Following neuronal autophagy induction by rapamycin, cell apoptosis rates increased significantly. Further experiments revealed that memantine was able to upregulate the expression of signaling molecules phosphorylated (p)-phosphoinositide 3‑kinase, p‑Akt and p‑mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and also inhibited the phosphorylation of the B‑cell lymphoma 2/Beclin‑1 complex via mitogen‑activated protein kinase 8. In conclusion, the results of the present study demonstrated that in the AD cell model, autophagy was able to promote apoptosis. Memantine exerted anti‑autophagic and anti‑apoptotic functions, and mTOR‑dependent as well as ‑independent autophagic signaling pathways were involved in this process. Therefore, these results of the present study strongly supported the use of memantine as a potential therapeutic strategy for AD treatment.