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J Biol Chem. 2005 Mar 25;280(12):11615-25. Epub 2005 Jan 19.

Trolox and 17beta-estradiol protect against amyloid beta-peptide neurotoxicity by a mechanism that involves modulation of the Wnt signaling pathway.

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  • 1Centro de Regulación Celular y Patología Joaquín V. Luco, Millennium Institute of Fundamental and Applied Biology, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Santiago, Chile.


Oxidative stress is a key mechanism in amyloid beta-peptide (A beta)-mediated neurotoxicity; therefore, the protective roles of 17beta-estradiol (E2) and antioxidants (Trolox and vitamin C) were assayed on hippocampal neurons. Our results show the following: 1) E2 and Trolox attenuated the neurotoxicity mediated by A beta and H2O2 as measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide reduction assays, quantification of apoptotic cells, and morphological studies of the integrity of the neurite network. 2) Vitamin C failed to protect neurons from A beta toxicity. 3) A beta-mediated endoperoxide production, reported to induce cell damage, was decreased in the presence of E2 and Trolox. 4) Two key Wnt signaling components were affected by E2 and Trolox; in fact, the enzyme glycogen synthase kinase 3beta was inhibited by both E2 and Trolox, and both compounds were able to stabilize cytoplasmic beta-catenin. 5) E2 activated the expression of the Wnt-5a and Wnt-7a ligands, and at the same time, E2, through the alpha-estrogen receptor, was able to prevent the excitotoxic A beta-induced rise in bulk-free Ca2+ as an alternative pathway to increase cell viability. 6) Finally, the Wnt-7a ligand protected against cytoplasmic calcium disturbances induced by A beta treatment. Our results suggest that control of oxidative stress, regulation of cytoplasmic calcium, and activation of Wnt signaling may prevent A beta neurotoxicity.

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