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Research Article

A New Cell Model Overexpressing sTGFBR3 for Studying Alzheimer's Disease <i>In vitro</i>

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 7 ]


Jiangxia Chen, Lijun Zhou, Qingchun Zhao* and Zhentong Qi   Pages 552 - 563 ( 12 )


Background: Recent studies have suggested that abnormal microglial hyperactivation has an important role in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). sTGFBR3 (a shed extracellular domain of the transforming growth factor type III receptor) is a newly identified target of microglia polarization dysregulation, whose overexpression can cause abnormal accumulation of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), promoting Aβ, tau, and neuroinflammatory pathology.

Objective: The objective of this study is to develop and validate a new cell model overexpressing sTGFBR3 for studying AD in vitro.

Methods: BV2 cells (a microglial cell derived from C57/BL6 murine) were used as a cell model. Cells were then treated with different concentrations of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (0, 1, or 0.3 μg/mL) for 12, 24, or 48h and then with or without sodium pervanadate (100 μM) for 30 min. Next, the effect surface optimization method was used to determine optimal experimental conditions. Finally, the optimized model was used to assess the effect of ZQX series compounds and vasicine on cell viability and protein expression. Expression of TGFBR3 and TNF-α was assessed using Western blot. MTT assay was used to assess cell viability, and enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was employed to evaluate extracellular TGF-β1 and sTGFBR3.

Results: LPS (0.3 μg/mL) treatment for 11 h at a cell density of 60% and pervanadate concentration (100 μM) incubation for 30 min were the optimal experimental conditions for increasing membrane protein TGFBR3 overexpression, as well as extracellular sTGFBR3 and TGF-β1. Applying ZQX-5 and vasicine reversed this process by reducing extracellular TGF-β1, promoting the phosphorylation of Smad2/3, a protein downstream of TGF-β1, and inhibiting the release of the inflammatory factor TNF-α.

Conclusion: This new in vitro model may be a useful cell model for studying Alzheimer's disease in vitro.


Alzheimer's disease, microglial dysregulation, sTGFBR3, TGF-&#946;1, cell model, abnormal microglial hyperactivation.


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