Amyloid Beta Peptides Affect Pregnenolone and Pregnenolone Sulfate Levels in PC-12 and SH-SY5Y Cells Depending on Cholesterol

Calan Ö., Akan P., Cataler A., Dogan C., Kocturk S.

NEUROCHEMICAL RESEARCH, vol.41, no.7, pp.1700-1712, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11064-016-1886-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1700-1712
  • Keywords: Amyloid beta toxicity, Pregnenolone, Pregnenolone sulfate, Neurosteroid, Cholesterol, Neuronal toxicity, HUMAN NEUROBLASTOMA-CELLS, ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE, PC12 CELL, NEUROSTEROID BIOSYNTHESIS, OXIDATIVE STRESS, NMDA RECEPTORS, HUMAN BRAIN, PROTEIN, RELEVANCE, SYSTEM
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Increased amyloid beta (AB) peptide concentration is one of the initiating factors in the neurodegeneration process. It has been suggested that cholesterol induces the synthesis of AB peptide from amyloid precursor protein or facilitates the formation of amyloid plaque by lowering the aggregation threshold of the peptide. It is also shown that AB peptides may affect cholesterol metabolism and the synthesis of steroid hormones such as progesterone and estradiol. Pregnenolone (P) and pregnenolone sulfate (PS) are the major steroids produced from cholesterol in neural tissue. In toxicity conditions, the effect of AB peptides on P and PS levels has not yet been determined. Furthermore, it has not been clearly defined how changes in cellular P and PS levels affect neuronal cell survival. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of AB peptides on cellular changes in P and PS levels depending on the level of their main precursor, cholesterol. Cholesterol and toxic concentrations of AB fragments (AB 25-35, AB 1-40 and AB 1-42) were applied to PC-12 and SH-SY5Y cells. Changes in cellular cholesterol, P and PS levels were determined simultaneously in a dose-and time-dependent manner. The cell viability and cell death types were also evaluated. AB peptides affected both cell viability and P/PS levels. Steroid levels were altered depending on AB fragment type and the cholesterol content of the cells. Treatment with each of the AB fragments alone increased P levels by twofold. However, combined treatment with AB peptides and cholesterol increased P levels by approximately sixfold, while PS levels were increased only about 2.5 fold in both cell lines. P levels in the groups treated with AB 25-35 were higher than those in AB 1-40 and AB 1-42 groups. The cell viabilities were significantly low in the group treated by AB and cholesterol (9 mM). The effect of AB peptides on P levels might be a result of cellular self-defense. On the other hand, the rate of P increase might be playing a key role in the cell death mechanism of AB toxicity depending on cellular cholesterol levels.