Neurochemical Research

, Volume 32, Issue 9, pp 1476–1482 | Cite as

Beta-Amyloid Toxicity in Embryonic Rat Astrocytes

  • Poincyane Assis-Nascimento
  • Karen M. Jarvis
  • Jeremy R. Montague
  • Laura M. Mudd
Original Paper


The senile plaques of Alzheimer’s disease contain a high concentration of beta-amyloid (βA) protein, which may affect the glial population in the septal nucleus, an area of increased risk in AD. βA toxicity was measured in septal glia, via a dose-response experiment, by quantifying the effects of three different doses (0.1, 1, and 10 μM) of βA on cell survival. Astrocytes from embryonic day-16 rats were grown in serum-free media in a single layer culture. Cells were treated on day in vitro (DIV)1 and survival was determined on DIV3 to ascertain which concentration was most toxic. In a separate set of experiments, an attempt was made to protect glial cells from the degenerative effects of βA, with treatments of growth factors and estrogen. βA (10 μM) treatment was administered on DIV1, on DIV2 the cells were treated with estrogen (EST, 10 nM), insulin-like growth factors (IGF1 and IGF2, each 10 ng/ml), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF, 5 ng/ml) or nerve growth factor (NGF, 100 ng/ml), and on DIV3 the cells were visualized and quantified by fluorescence microscopy with DAPI (4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole). In addition to dose-response and glial protection, experiments were also conducted to determine whether toxic effects were due to apoptosis. Our results suggest that the survival of glial populations is significantly affected in all three concentrations (0.1, 1.0, and 10 μM) of βA. Glial protection was evident in the presence of NGF, for it showed the significantly highest survival rate relative to the βA treatment alone. Furthermore, toxic effects of βA appear to be due primarily to apoptosis. Significant reversal of βA-induced apoptosis was seen with bFGF and IGF1.


Beta-amyloid Rat Neurotoxicity Apoptosis 



The authors thank Dr. Christophe Hengartner for his generous technical assistance. Poincyane Assis was supported by NIH-NIGMS MARCU*STAR Grant, T34GM08082, NIH-NIGMS RISE Grant, R25 GM9244, and NIH MBRS SCORE Grant S06 GM45455. Laura Mudd and Jeremy Montague were supported by NIH MBRS SCORE Grant S06 GM45455. The photographer, Louie Jarvis, is acknowledged for the fluorescence microscopy images.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Poincyane Assis-Nascimento
    • 1
  • Karen M. Jarvis
    • 1
  • Jeremy R. Montague
    • 1
  • Laura M. Mudd
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Natural and Health SciencesBarry UniversityMiami ShoresUSA

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