Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and displays the characteristics of chronic neurodegenerative disorders; amyloid plaques (AP) that contain amyloid β-protein (Aβ) accumulate in AD, which is also characterized by tau phosphorylation. Epidemiological evidence has demonstrated that long-term treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) markedly reduces the risk of AD by inhibiting the expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). Although the levels of COX-2 and its metabolic product prostaglandin (PG)E2 are elevated in the brain of AD patients, the mechanisms for the development of AD remain unknown. Using human- or mouse-derived glioblastoma and neuroblastoma cell lines as model systems, we delineated the signaling pathways by which COX-2 mediates the reciprocal regulation of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and Aβ between glial and neuron cells. In glioblastoma cells, COX-2 regulates the synthesis of IL-1β in a PGE2 -dependent manner. Moreover, COX-2-derived PGE2 signals the activation of the PI3-K/AKT and PKA/CREB pathways via cyclic AMP; these pathways transactivate the NF-κB p65 subunit via phosphorylation at Ser 536 and Ser 276, leading to IL-1β synthesis. The secretion of IL-1β from glioblastoma cells in turn stimulates the expression of COX-2 in human or mouse neuroblastoma cells. Similar regulatory mechanisms were found for the COX-2 regulation of BACE-1 expression in neuroblastoma cells. More importantly, Aβ deposition mediated the inflammatory response of glial cells via inducing the expression of COX-2 in glioblastoma cells. These findings not only provide new insights into the mechanisms of COX-2-induced AD but also initially define the therapeutic targets of AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; cytokines; gene expression; neurodegenerative disease; signal transduction.
© 2014 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.