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Intracellular deposits of amyloid-beta influence the ability of human iPSC-derived astrocytes to support neuronal function
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Geriatrics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8753-347x
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Cell Biology, Research group Mia Lindskog.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5648-4169
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Geriatrics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Geriatrics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5817-9547
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2023 (English)In: Journal of Neuroinflammation, E-ISSN 1742-2094, Vol. 20, no 1, article id 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Astrocytes are crucial for maintaining brain homeostasis and synaptic function, but are also tightly connected to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our previous data demonstrate that astrocytes ingest large amounts of aggregated amyloid-beta (Aβ), but then store, rather than degrade the ingested material, which leads to severe cellular stress. However, the involvement of pathological astrocytes in AD-related synaptic dysfunction remains to be elucidated.

Methods

In this study, we aimed to investigate how intracellular deposits of Aβ in astrocytes affect their interplay with neurons, focusing on neuronal function and viability. For this purpose, human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived astrocytes were exposed to sonicated Αβ42 fibrils. The direct and indirect effects of the Αβ-exposed astrocytes on hiPSC-derived neurons were analyzed by performing astrocyte–neuron co-cultures as well as additions of conditioned media or extracellular vesicles to pure neuronal cultures.

Results

Electrophysiological recordings revealed significantly decreased frequency of excitatory post-synaptic currents in neurons co-cultured with Aβ-exposed astrocytes, while conditioned media from Aβ-exposed astrocytes had the opposite effect and resulted in hyperactivation of the synapses. Clearly, factors secreted from control, but not from Aβ-exposed astrocytes, benefited the wellbeing of neuronal cultures. Moreover, reactive astrocytes with Aβ deposits led to an elevated clearance of dead cells in the co-cultures.

Conclusions

Taken together, our results demonstrate that inclusions of aggregated Aβ affect the reactive state of the astrocytes, as well as their ability to support neuronal function.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2023. Vol. 20, no 1, article id 3
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-492283DOI: 10.1186/s12974-022-02687-5ISI: 000906707700001PubMedID: 36593462OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-492283DiVA, id: diva2:1723621
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2021-02563Alzheimerfonden, AF-968209Åhlén-stiftelsen, 213021The Swedish Brain Foundation, FO2021-0174O.E. och Edla Johanssons vetenskapliga stiftelse, 2021Olle Engkvists stiftelse, 215-0399Gun och Bertil Stohnes Stiftelse, 2021Uppsala UniversityBertil and Ebon Norlin Foundation for Medical Research, 2021Available from: 2023-01-03 Created: 2023-01-03 Last updated: 2024-07-04Bibliographically approved

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Konstantinidis, EvangelosPortal, BenjaminMothes, Tobias J.Beretta, ChiaraLindskog, MariaErlandsson, Anna

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