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J Cell Physiol. 2008 Oct;217(1):215-27. doi: 10.1002/jcp.21497.

Frizzled-1 is involved in the neuroprotective effect of Wnt3a against Abeta oligomers.

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Centro de Regulación Celular y Patología Joaquín V. Luco (CRCP), Instituto Milenio (MIFAB), Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


The activation of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway protects hippocampal neurons against the toxicity of Alzheimer's amyloid-beta-peptide (Abeta), however, the role played by the Wnt receptors Frizzleds, has not been studied. We report here that Frizzled-1 mediates the activation of the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway by Wnt3a in PC12 cells. In addition, the protective effect of Wnt3a against the toxicity of Abeta oligomers was modulated by Frizzled-1 expression levels in both PC12 cells and hippocampal neurons. Over-expression of Frizzled-1 significantly increased cell survival induced by Wnt3a and diminished caspase-3 activation, while knocking-down Frizzled-1 expression by antisense oligonucleotides decreased the Wnt3a protection. Over-expression of wild-type beta-catenin, but not a transcriptionally inactive mutated version, prevented the toxicity of Abeta suggesting that the transcription of Wnt target genes may be involved in these events. This was confirmed by co-transfecting both Frizzled-1 and the inactive form of beta-catenin, which does not elicited protection levels similar to those showed with endogenous beta-catenin. Our results indicate that Wnt3a protects from Abeta-oligomers toxicity by activating the canonical Wnt signaling pathway through the Frizzled-1 receptor, suggesting a therapeutic potential for this signaling pathway in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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