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J Biol Chem. 2003 May 9;278(19):17150-7. Epub 2003 Feb 12.

Cholesterol distribution in the Golgi complex of DITNC1 astrocytes is differentially altered by fresh and aged amyloid beta-peptide-(1-42).

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  • 1Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.


The Golgi complex plays an important role in cholesterol trafficking in cells, and amyloid beta-peptides (Abetas) alter cholesterol trafficking. The hypothesis was tested that fresh and aged Abeta-(1-42) would differentially modify Golgi cholesterol content in DINTC1 astrocytes and that the effects of Abeta-(1-42) would be associated with the region of the Golgi complex. Two different methods were used to determine the effects of Abeta-(1-42) on Golgi complex cholesterol. Confocal microscopy showed that fresh Abeta-(1-42) significantly increased cholesterol and that aged Abeta-(1-42) significantly reduced cholesterol content in the Golgi complex. Isolation of the Golgi complex into two fractions using density gradient centrifugation showed effects of aged Abeta-(1-42) similar to those observed with confocal microscopy but revealed the novel finding that fresh Abeta-(1-42) had opposite effects on the two Golgi fractions suggesting a specificity of Abeta-(1-42) perturbation of the Golgi complex. Phosphatidylcholine-phospholipase D activity, cell membrane cholesterol, and apolipoprotein E levels were associated with effects of fresh Abeta-(1-42) on cholesterol distribution but not with effects of aged Abeta-(1-42), arguing against a common mechanism. Extracellular Abeta-(1-42) targets the Golgi complex and disrupts cell cholesterol homeostasis, and this action of Abeta-(1-42) could alter cell functions requiring optimal levels of cholesterol.

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