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A key role for the microglial NADPH oxidase in APP-dependent killing of neurons

Cartier, Laetitia
Published in Neurobiology of Aging. 2006, vol. 27, no. 11, p. 1577-1587
Abstract Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and deposition of cleaved products of amyloid precursor protein (APP) are thought to contribute to neuronal loss observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The relationship between these factors was studied in a neuroblastoma and microglia co-culture system. Overexpression of wild-type APP (APP-wt) or APP with three mutations typical of familial AD (APP-3m) in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells did not directly alter their morphology, growth rate, cell cycle or H(2)O(2) sensitivity. In a co-culture of APP-wt neuroblastoma cells with microglia, microglial cells generated ROS and neuronal cells died. The cell death was more pronounced in APP-3m-expressing neurons. Neuroblastoma cell death was attenuated by ROS-scavengers and was dose-dependently inhibited by the NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI). Macrophage cell lines behaved similarly to microglia in the co-culture model. However, a macrophage cell line deficient in the NADPH oxidase subunit, gp91phox, failed to kill neurons. These results suggest that APP-dependent microglia activation and subsequent ROS generation by the phagocyte NADPH oxidase play a crucial role in neuronal killing in a cellular model of AD.
Keywords Alzheimer Disease/ physiopathologyAmyloid beta-Protein Precursor/ metabolismAntioxidants/pharmacologyAscorbic Acid/pharmacologyBlotting, WesternCell CountCell Culture TechniquesCell DeathCell Line, TumorEnzyme Inhibitors/pharmacologyHumansMacrophages/metabolismMicroglia/drug effects/metabolismMicroscopy, FluorescenceMutationNADPH Oxidase/deficiency/ metabolismNeurons/ cytology/drug effects/metabolismOnium Compounds/pharmacologyReactive Oxygen Species/metabolismReceptors, Cell Surface/ metabolismTransduction, GeneticVitamin E/pharmacology
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PMID: 16260066
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