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To investigate the role of IL-6 in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) its effect on amyloid precursor protein (APP) mRNA expression was evaluated. The levels of APP mRNA were determined by Northern blot analysis in primary cultured rat cortical neurons and glial cells exposed to IL-6 (50-200 ng/ml). The cytokine increased neuronal APP mRNA(More)
Cell viability and gene expression were studied in primary astroglial cells cultured in a nominally calcium-free medium. Ca2+ deprivation reduced progressively the astrocytes' viability, starting from 12 h; the restoration of a normal Ca2+ concentration (1.8 mM) in the medium after 12-h deprivation reversed the degenerative effect within 24 h. Biochemical(More)
Heme oxygenase (HO), which catalyzes the degradation of heme, has two isozymes (HO-1 and HO-2). In brain the noninducible HO-2 isoform is predominant, whereas the inducible HO-1 is a marker of oxidative stress. Because brain oxidative stress might be present in prion-related encephalopathies (PREs), as in other neurodegenerative diseases, we investigated(More)
The aim of this work was to investigate whether free radical reactions play a role in beta-amyloid neurotoxicity. Rat cortical neurons were exposed acutely (24 h) or chronically (3, 7 days) to beta-amyloid biologically active fragment beta 25-35 (50 microM). In these conditions, where only the longest exposure induced neuronal death, superoxide dismutase(More)
Beta-amyloid accumulates in cerebral deposits in Alzheimer's disease, so to test the correlation between the neurotoxic and fibrillogenic capacity of beta-amyloid, we synthesized a peptide homologous to fragment 25-35 of beta-amyloid (beta25-35) and amidated at the C-terminus (beta25-35-NH2). As the amidation strongly reduced the amyloidogenic capacity of(More)
Somatostatin (SRIF) exerts a modulatory function on neuronal transmission in the CNS. It has been proposed that a reduction of calcium currents is the major determinant of the inhibitory activity of this peptide on synaptic transmission. Because the neurotoxicity induced by activation of the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptor is mediated through excessive(More)
The mechanisms of cell death of rat cortical neurons chronically exposed to the beta-amyloid (betaA) biologically active fragment beta-(25-35) involve oxidative stress. We examined the influence of culture conditions on the neuroprotective activity of antioxidants against beta-(25-35) toxicity. Common radical scavengers such as N-acetylcysteine (250 microM)(More)
Prion-related encephalopathies are characterized by the accumulation of an abnormal prion protein isoform (PrPSc) associated with neuronal degeneration and astrogliosis. The synthetic peptide homologous to PrP fragment 106-126 (PrP 106-126) induced in vitro neuronal apoptosis and glial proliferation. We used Northern blot analysis and the RNA polymerase(More)
A new method is presented for the quantification of cell viability based on densitometry with computerized image analysis. Neuronal cells were stained with crystal violet and densitometric analysis was performed with an IBAS 2.0 image analyzer (Kontron/ Zeiss), using specially implemented dedicated software which integrates the optical density of the(More)
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