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J Neurochem. 2002 Nov;83(4):973-83.

Microglia enhance beta-amyloid peptide-induced toxicity in cortical and mesencephalic neurons by producing reactive oxygen species.

Author information

1
Neuropharmacology Section, Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA. qin1@niehs.nih.gov

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the toxicity of beta-amyloid (Abeta) on primary cortical and mesencephalic neurons cultured with and without microglia in order to determine the mechanism underlying microglia-mediated Abeta-induced neurotoxicity. Incubation of cortical or mesencephalic neuron-enriched and mixed neuron-glia cultures with Abeta(1-42) over the concentration range 0.1-6.0 microm caused concentration-dependent neurotoxicity. High concentrations of Abeta (6.0 microm for cortex and 1.5-2.0 microm for mesencephalon) directly injured neurons in neuron-enriched cultures. In contrast, lower concentrations of Abeta (1.0-3.0 microm for cortex and 0.25-1.0 microm for mesencephalon) caused significant neurotoxicity in mixed neuron-glia cultures, but not in neuron- enriched cultures. Several lines of evidence indicated that microglia mediated the potentiated neurotoxicity of Abeta, including the observations that low concentrations of Abeta activated microglia morphologically in neuron-glia cultures and that addition of microglia to cortical neuron-glia cultures enhanced Abeta-induced neurotoxicity. To search for the mechanism underlying the microglia-mediated effects, several proinflammatory factors were examined in neuron-glia cultures. Low doses of Abeta significantly increased the production of superoxide anions, but not of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1beta or nitric oxide. Catalase and superoxide dismutase significantly protected neurons from Abeta toxicity in the presence of microglia. Inhibition of NADPH oxidase activity by diphenyleneiodonium also prevented Abeta-induced neurotoxicity in neuron-glia mixed cultures. The role of NADPH oxidase-generated superoxide in mediating Abeta-induced neurotoxicity was further substantiated by a study which showed that Abeta caused less of a decrease in dopamine uptake in mesencephalic neuron-glia cultures from NADPH oxidase-deficient mutant mice than in that from wild-type controls. This study demonstrates that one of the mechanisms by which microglia can enhance the neurotoxicity of Abeta is via the production of reactive oxygen species.

PMID:
12421370
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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