Neprilysin regulates amyloid β peptide levels

Robert A. Marr, Hanjun Guan, Edward Rockenstein, Mark Kindy, Fred H. Gage, Inder Verma, Eliezer Masliah, Louis B. Hersh

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148 Citations (SciVal)


That neprilysin (NEP) is a major Aβ peptide-degrading enzyme in vivo is shown by higher Aβ peptide levels in the brain of an NEP knockout mouse. In addition, we show that infusion of an NEP inhibitor, but not inhibitors of other peptidases, into the brains of an APP transgenic mouse elevates Aβ levels. We have investigated the use of NEP as a potential therapeutic agent to prevent the accumulation of Aβ peptides in the brain. Lentivirus expressing NEP was initially used to demonstrate the ability of the enzyme to reduce Aβ levels in a model CHO cell line and to make primary hippocampal neurons resistant to Aβ-mediated neurotoxicity. Injection of NEP-expressing lentivirus, but not inactive NEP-expressing lentivirus, GFP-expressing lentivirus, or vehicle, into the hippocampus of 12-20-mo-old hAPP transgenic mice led to an approx 50% reduction in the number of amyloid plaques. These studies provide the impetus for further investigating of the use of NEP in a gene transfer therapy paradigm to prevent the accumulation of Aβ and prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by grants from the Alzheimer’s Association (L. B. H.), by the National Institutes of Health (DA02243 [L. B. H.]; AG19323 [L. B. H. and M. K.]; AG19323 [F. H. G.]; AG05131 [E. M.]; AG10689 [E. M.]; and AG18440 [E. M.]); the Lookout Fund (F. H. G.); the Fox Foundation (F. H. G.); the National Parkinson Foundation (F. H. G.); the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation (I. M. V.); the H. N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation (I. M. V.); the M. J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (E. M.); and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (R. A. M.).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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