Elevated levels of Secreted-Frizzled-Related-Protein 1 contribute to Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis.
The deposition of aggregated amyloid-β peptides derived from the pro-amyloidogenic processing of the amyloid precurson protein (APP) into characteristic amyloid plaques (APs) is distinctive to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Alternative APP processing via the metalloprotease ADAM10 prevents amyloid-β formation. We tested whether downregulation of ADAM10 activity by its secreted endogenous inhibitor secreted-frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1) is a common trait of sporadic AD. We demonstrate that SFRP1 is significantly increased in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with AD, accumulates in APs and binds to amyloid-β, hindering amyloid-β protofibril formation. Sfrp1 overexpression in an AD-like mouse model anticipates the appearance of APs and dystrophic neurites, whereas its genetic inactivation or the infusion of α-SFRP1-neutralizing antibodies favors non-amyloidogenic APP processing. Decreased Sfrp1 function lowers AP accumulation, improves AD-related histopathological traits and prevents long-term potentiation loss and cognitive deficits. Our study unveils SFRP1 as a crucial player in AD pathogenesis and a promising AD therapeutic target.