The role of ryanodine receptor type 3 in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease

Jie Liu, Charlene Supnet, Suya Sun, Hua Zhang, Levi Good, Elena Popugaeva, Ilya Bezprozvanny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Dysregulated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium (Ca2+) signaling is reported to play an important role in Alzheimer disease (AD) pathogenesis. The role of ER Ca2+ release channels, the ryanodine receptors (RyanRs), has been extensively studied in AD models and RyanR expression and activity are upregulated in the brains of various familial AD (FAD) models. The objective of this study was to utilize a genetic approach to evaluate the importance of RyanR type 3 (RyanR3) in the context of AD pathology. The expression of RyanR3 was also elevated in hippocampus of APPPS1 mice (Thy1-APPKM670/671NL, Thy1-PS1L166P). In young (≤ 3 mo) APPPS1 mice, the deletion of RyanR3 increased hippocampal neuronal network excitability and accelerated AD pathology, leading to mushroom spine loss and increased amyloid accumulation. In contrast, deletion of RyanR3 in older APPPS1 mice (≥ 6 mo) rescued network excitability and mushroom spine loss, reduced amyloid plaque load and reduced spontaneous seizure occurrence. Our data suggests a dual role for RyanR3 in AD pathology. In young AD neurons, RyanR3 protects AD neurons from synaptic and network dysfunction. In older AD neurons, increased RyanR3 activity contributes to pathology. These results imply that blockade of RyanR3 may be beneficial for those in the later stages of the disease, but RyanR activators may be beneficial when used prior to disease onset or in its initial stages. Caffeine is an activator of RyanRs and our results may help to explain a complex epidemiological connection between coffee consumption in mid-life and risk of AD development in old age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-242
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Amyloid load
  • Arc
  • Caffeine
  • EEG
  • Ryanodine receptor
  • Spine morphology
  • Spontaneous activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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