Rosiglitazone rescues human neural stem cells from amyloid-beta induced ER stress via PPARγ dependent signaling

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Abstract

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) belongs to a family of ligand-activated nuclear receptors known to regulate many crucial physiological and pathological conditions. Indeed, altered PPARγ transcriptional activity contributes to metabolic syndromes (obesity and hyperglycemia associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus), stroke and neurodegenerative diseases. Various studies suggest that PPARγ agonists influence neuronal deficits in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients and rodent models of AD. Expression of amyloid-beta (Aβ), a neuropathological marker associated with the pathogenesis of AD neuronal impairment, is inversely correlated with the activation of PPARγ-dependent neuroprotective responses. Nevertheless, molecular mechanisms by which the effects of PPARγ agonists in AD remain to be clarified. Here, we explore the PPARγ signaling pathways and networks that protect against Aβ-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress (e.g., caspase 4, Bip, CHOP, ASK1 and ER calcium), cell death (e.g., viability and cytochrome c) and mitochondrial deficiency (e.g., maximal respiratory function, COX activity, and mitochondrial membrane potential) events in the human neural stem cells (hNSCs) treated with Aβ. Co-treatment with GW9662 (an antagonist of PPARγ) effectively blocked these protective effects by rosiglitazone, providing strong evidence that PPARγ-dependent signaling rescues hNSCs from Aβ-mediated toxicity. Together, our data suggest activation of PPARγ pathway might be critical to protecting against AD-related ER stress, ER disequilibrium and mitochondrial deficiency. These findings also improve our understanding of the role of PPARγ in hNSCs, and may aid in the development and implementation of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of AD.

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