Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of neurocortical and hippocampal synapses that precedes amyloidosis and neurodegeneration and closely correlates with memory impairment. Mutations in the amyloid precursor protein (APP) cause familial AD and result in the increased production of amyloid-beta-protein (Abeta). To gain insights into synaptic effects of APP, we expressed APP, mutant form APP-Swedish and BACE in the motor neurons of fly larvae. We have shown that targeted expression of APP (APP-Swedish) in Drosophila larval motor neurons causes significant morphological and functional changes in neuromuscular junctions (NMJs): a dramatic increase in the number of synaptic buttons and changes in exocytosis as revealed by incorporation of the styryl dye FM4-64. Analysis of the number and distribution of mitochondria showed that motor neurons overexpressing APP (APP-Swedish) had a significant reduction of functional mitochondria in the presynaptic terminal. Significant synaptic abnormalities were observed for APP (APP-Swedish) and human beta-secretase (BACE) resulting in secretion of amyloid beta protein (Abeta). We suggest that APP participates in regulation of synaptic functions and its elevated expression leads to synaptic pathology independently from neurotoxic effects of Abeta.