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Cell Death Dis. 2019 Jan 10;10(1):24. doi: 10.1038/s41419-018-1264-8.

Gene expression, proteome and calcium signaling alterations in immortalized hippocampal astrocytes from an Alzheimer's disease mouse model.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy.
2
International Center for T1D, Pediatric Clinic Research Center Fondazione Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Science L. Sacco, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
3
Department of Sciences and Technological Innovation, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, Alessandria, Italy.
4
ISALIT S.r.l., Spin-off of Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy.
5
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Section of Pharmacology, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia, 97, 95123, Catania, Italy.
6
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy. armando.genazzani@uniupo.it.
7
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy. dmitry.lim@uniupo.it.

Abstract

Evidence is rapidly growing regarding a role of astroglial cells in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the hippocampus is one of the important brain regions affected in AD. While primary astroglial cultures, both from wild-type mice and from rodent models of AD, have been useful for studying astrocyte-specific alterations, the limited cell number and short primary culture lifetime have limited the use of primary hippocampal astrocytes. To overcome these limitations, we have now established immortalized astroglial cell lines from the hippocampus of 3xTg-AD and wild-type control mice (3Tg-iAstro and WT-iAstro, respectively). Both 3Tg-iAstro and WT-iAstro maintain an astroglial phenotype and markers (glutamine synthetase, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member L1 and aquaporin-4) but display proliferative potential until at least passage 25. Furthermore, these cell lines maintain the potassium inward rectifying (Kir) current and present transcriptional and proteomic profiles compatible with primary astrocytes. Importantly, differences between the 3Tg-iAstro and WT-iAstro cell lines in terms of calcium signaling and in terms of transcriptional changes can be re-conducted to the changes previously reported in primary astroglial cells. To illustrate the versatility of this model we performed shotgun mass spectrometry proteomic analysis and found that proteins related to RNA binding and ribosome are differentially expressed in 3Tg-iAstro vs WT-iAstro. In summary, we present here immortalized hippocampal astrocytes from WT and 3xTg-AD mice that might be a useful model to speed up research on the role of astrocytes in AD.

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