Progenitor cells from the adult mouse brain acquire a neuronal phenotype in response to β-amyloid

M. Calafiore, G. Battaglia, A. Zappalà, E. Trovato-Salinaro, F. Caraci, M. Caruso, C. Vancheri, M. A. Sortino, F. Nicoletti, A. Copani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neurospheres from adult mouse subventricular zone (SVZ) were grown in suspension cultures for 12-15 days. Neurospheres consisted mainly of neural precursor cells (NPCs) immunoreactive for nestin and also contained nestin-negative precursors. We used these neurospheres to determine the effects of synthetic β-amyloid fragments (both βAP(1-42) and βAP(25-35)) on NPC proliferation, differentiation and survival. We show that neurospheres exposed to 25 μM βAP(25-35) or βAP(1-42) for 24 h (a toxic condition for mature neurons) did not undergo apoptosis. Instead, βAP(25-35) orientated nestin-negative precursors towards nestin-positive NPCs and turned nestin-positive NPCs into neuroblasts. Intracerebroventricular infusion of full-length βAP(1-42) increased the population of PSA-NCAM-positive cells in the SVZ, without affecting proliferation. We conclude that βAP influences the fate of progenitor cells, driving their differentiation towards a neuronal lineage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-613
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • β-amyloid
  • Differentiation
  • Neuroprogenitor cells
  • Subventricular zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)


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