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J Neuroimmunol. 1997 Jul;77(1):51-6.

Activation of nuclear factor-kappa B by beta-amyloid peptides and interferon-gamma in murine microglia.

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Department of General Pathology, University of Verona, Italy.


An increasing body of evidence suggests that amyloid-beta (A beta) peptides and microglia are crucially involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In an effort to further elucidate the biological effects of A beta towards microglia, we investigated the ability of A beta peptides to activate nuclear factor (NF)-kappa B in the N9 murine microglial cell line. Co-stimulation of microglia with suboptimal concentrations of A beta(25-35) and 100 U/ml IFN gamma resulted in the detection of a specific NF-kappa B DNA-binding activity in nuclear extracts, as determined in gel mobility shift assays. This response required at least 120 min to be evident and supershift experiments revealed that the NF-kappa B complex contains both RelA and p50. Accordingly, immunoblot experiments showed that amongst NF-kappa B/Rel proteins, RelA and p50 are mobilized to the nucleus following microglial cell stimulation with A beta(25-35) plus IFN gamma. Higher concentrations of A beta(25-35) were effective by themselves in inducing NF-kappa B activation, both in the N9 microglial cell line and in rat primary microglia, as well as in human monocytes. For purposes of comparison, microglia were also stimulated with bacterial LPS, a known NF-kappa B inducer. As expected, LPS strongly induced the formation of two NF-kappa B DNA-binding activities, one of which was identified as RelA/p50. The LPS response was also more rapid, as it was already evident by 40 min and remained sustained for up to 3 h. Collectively, these findings indicate that NF-kappa B activation might constitute one of the mechanisms underlying the inducible expression of kappa B-dependent genes in microglia stimulated by A beta peptides and IFN gamma, or by LPS.

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