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Interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha regulate amyloid-beta plaque deposition and beta-secretase expression in Swedish mutant APP transgenic mice.

Yamamoto M., Kiyota T., Horiba M., Buescher J.L., Walsh S.M., Gendelman H.E., Ikezu T.

Reactive astrocytes and microglia in Alzheimer's disease surround amyloid plaques and secrete proinflammatory cytokines that affect neuronal function. Relationship between cytokine signaling and amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) accumulation is poorly understood. Thus, we generated a novel Swedish beta-amyloid precursor protein mutant (APP) transgenic mouse in which the interferon (IFN)-gamma receptor type I was knocked out (APP/GRKO). IFN-gamma signaling loss in the APP/GRKO mice reduced gliosis and amyloid plaques at 14 months of age. Aggregated Abeta induced IFN-gamma production from co-culture of astrocytes and microglia, and IFN-gamma elicited tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha secretion in wild type (WT) but not GRKO microglia co-cultured with astrocytes. Both IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha enhanced Abeta production from APP-expressing astrocytes and cortical neurons. TNF-alpha directly stimulated beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme (BACE1) expression and enhanced beta-processing of APP in astrocytes. The numbers of reactive astrocytes expressing BACE1 were increased in APP compared with APP/GRKO mice in both cortex and hippocampus. IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha activation of WT microglia suppressed Abeta degradation, whereas GRKO microglia had no changes. These results support the idea that glial IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha enhance Abeta deposition through BACE1 expression and suppression of Abeta clearance. Taken together, these observations suggest that proinflammatory cytokines are directly linked to Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis.

Am. J. Pathol. 170:680-692(2007) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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