Author(s): Wicklund L, Leo RN, Strmberg AM, Mousavi M, Hovatta O,
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Abstract Cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients is associated with a decline in the levels of growth factors, impairment of axonal transport and marked degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs). Neurogenesis persists in the adult human brain, and the stimulation of regenerative processes in the CNS is an attractive prospect for neuroreplacement therapy in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. Currently, it is still not clear how the pathophysiological environment in the AD brain affects stem cell biology. Previous studies investigating the effects of the β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide on neurogenesis have been inconclusive, since both neurogenic and neurotoxic effects on progenitor cell populations have been reported. In this study, we treated pluripotent human embryonic stem (hES) cells with nerve growth factor (NGF) as well as with fibrillar and oligomeric Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 (nM-µM concentrations) and thereafter studied the differentiation in vitro during 28-35 days. The process applied real time quantitative PCR, immunocytochemistry as well as functional studies of intracellular calcium signaling. Treatment with NGF promoted the differentiation into functionally mature BFCNs. In comparison to untreated cells, oligomeric Aβ1-40 increased the number of functional neurons, whereas oligomeric Aβ1-42 suppressed the number of functional neurons. Interestingly, oligomeric Aβ exposure did not influence the number of hES cell-derived neurons compared with untreated cells, while in contrast fibrillar Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 induced gliogenesis. These findings indicate that Aβ1-42 oligomers may impair the function of stem cell-derived neurons. We propose that it may be possible for future AD therapies to promote the maturation of functional stem cell-derived neurons by altering the brain microenvironment with trophic support and by targeting different aggregation forms of Aβ.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy