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Adult human epidermal melanocytes for neurodegeneration research

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nikolaos Papageorgiou


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Neuronal models for Alzheimer's disease research frequently have limitations as a result of their nonhuman origin and/or transformed state. Here we examined the potential of readily accessible neural crest-derived human epidermal melanocytes isolated from elderly individuals as a model system for Alzheimer's disease research. The amyloidogenic isoforms of amyloid precursor protein (APP; isoforms APP751/770) and amyloid beta (Aβ) 1-40 were detected in epidermal melanocytes using immunocytochemistry and western blotting. Incubation of epidermal melanocytes with aggregated Aβ1-40 peptide caused a concentration-dependent reduction in cell viability, whereas age-matched dermal fibroblasts remained unaffected. These findings suggest that epidermal melanocytes from elderly donors are capable of amyloidogenesis and are sensitive to Aβ1-40 cytotoxicity. Thus, these cells may provide a readily accessible human cell model for Alzheimer's disease research. © 2008 Wolters Kluwer Health|Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Papageorgiou N, Carpenter E, Scally AJ, Tobin DJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: NeuroReport

Year: 2008

Volume: 19

Issue: 18

Pages: 1787-1791

ISSN (print): 0959-4965

ISSN (electronic): 1473-558X

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283193e82

PubMed id: 18978644


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