The E693G (Arctic) mutation of the amyloid precursor protein was recently found to lead to early-onset Alzheimer's disease in a Swedish family. In the present study, we report that the Arctic mutation decreases cell viability in human neuroblastoma cells. The cell viability, as measured by the MTT assay and propidium iodide staining, was further compromised following exposure to calcium ionophore A23187, microtubule-binding colchicine or oxidative stress inducer hydrogen peroxide. The manner of cell death was found to be apoptotic. During apoptosis, cells with the Arctic mutation also decreased their secretion of beta-secretase cleaved amyloid precursor protein. The enhanced sensitivity to toxic stress in cells with the Arctic mutation most likely contributes to the pathogenic pathway leading to Alzheimer's disease.