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Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is extensively studied, and the involvement of astrocytes and other cell types in this process has been described. However, the responses of astrocytes themselves to amyloid β peptides ((Aβ; the widely accepted major toxic factor in AD) is less well understood. Here, we show that Aβ(1-42) is toxic to primary cultures of astrocytes. Toxicity does not involve disruption of astrocyte Ca(2+) homeostasis, but instead occurs via formation of the toxic reactive species, peroxynitrite. Thus, Aβ(1-42) raises peroxynitrite levels in astrocytes, and Aβ(1-42) toxicity can be inhibited by antioxidants, or by inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) formation (reactive oxygen species (ROS) and NO combine to form peroxynitrite), or by a scavenger of peroxynitrite. Increased ROS levels observed following Aβ(1-42) application were derived from NADPH oxidase. Induction of haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1) protected astrocytes from Aβ(1-42) toxicity, and this protective effect was mimicked by application of the carbon monoxide (CO) releasing molecule CORM-2, suggesting HO-1 protection was attributable to its formation of CO. CO suppressed the rise of NADPH oxidase-derived ROS caused by Aβ(1-42). Under hypoxic conditions (0.5% O2, 48 h) HO-1 was induced in astrocytes and Aβ(1-42) toxicity was significantly reduced, an effect which was reversed by the specific HO-1 inhibitor, QC-15. Our data suggest that Aβ(1-42) is toxic to astrocytes, but that induction of HO-1 affords protection against this toxicity due to formation of CO. HO-1 induction, or CO donors, would appear to present attractive possible approaches to provide protection of both neuronal and non-neuronal cell types from the degenerative effects of AD in the central nervous system.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Cell death & disease
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A ubiquitous stress-responsive enzyme that catalyzes the oxidative cleavage of HEME to yield IRON; CARBON MONOXIDE; and BILIVERDIN.
A mixed function oxidase enzyme which during hemoglobin catabolism catalyzes the degradation of heme to ferrous iron, carbon monoxide and biliverdin in the presence of molecular oxygen and reduced NADPH. The enzyme is induced by metals, particularly cobalt. EC 184.108.40.206.
Toxic asphyxiation due to the displacement of oxygen from oxyhemoglobin by carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide (CO). A poisonous colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. It combines with hemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin, which has no oxygen carrying capacity. The resultant oxygen deprivation causes headache, dizziness, decreased pulse and respiratory rates, unconsciousness, and death. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)
A non-heme IRON enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of MYOINOSITOL to D-glucuronic acid. The reaction is the first committed step in MYOINOSITOL catabolic pathway. This enzyme was formerly characterized as EC 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.
Neurology - Central Nervous System (CNS)
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