Phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors are currently under evaluation as agents that may facilitate the improvement of cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease. Our aim was to determine whether inhibitors of PDEs 4, 5 and 9 could alleviate the cytotoxic effects of amyloid beta 1-42 (Aβ1-42) via a mechanism involving the small heatshock protein HSP20. We show that inhibition of PDEs 4, 5 and 9 but not 3 induces the phosphorylation of HSP20 which, in turn, increases the colocalisation between the chaperone and Aβ1-42 to significantly decrease the toxic effect of the peptide. We conclude that inhibition of PDE9 is most effective to combat Aβ1-42 cytotoxicity in our cell model.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; beta amyloid; cyclic AMP; cyclic GMP; heatshock protein 20; phosphodiesterase.