Document Type : Original Article
Department of Biology, College of Science, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran
Laboratory of Neuro-Organic Chemistry, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics (IBB), University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Objective: Change in astrocytes is one of the first pathological symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Understanding
the signaling pathways in astrocytes can be a great help in treating of AD. This study aimed to investigate signaling pathway relations between low dose of methamphetamine (METH), the apoptosis, cell cycle, and glutamine (Gln) pathways in the activated astrocyte.
Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, the activated astrocyte cells were exposed to a low dose of METH
(12.5 µM) which was determined by Thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide (MTT) method. The groups were: group 1 cells with Aβ, group 2 cells with METH, group 3 cells with METH after 24 hours of adding Aβ (Aβ+METH, treated group), group 4 cells with Aβ after 24 hours of adding METH (METH+Aβ, prevention group), and group 5 as the control. The Gln was assayed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and also the apoptosis, and cell cycle and BAX, BCL-X expression was evaluated.
Results: The amount of Gln was increased, and the value of late and early apoptosis was reduced in the treatment groups, and necrosis is decreased in the prevention group (group 4 compared to group 1). Moreover, it was revealed through cell cycle analysis that G2 in group 4 was reduced compared to group 1 and the expression of BAX, BAX/ BCL-X, and BCL-X in group 3 and group 4, was decreased and increased, respectively compared to group 1.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that perhaps a non-toxic dosage of METH (low dose) can reduce the amount of apoptosis and BAX expression and increase the expression of BCL-X. Furthermore, the cells are arrested in the G2 phase and can raise the amount of extracellular glutamine, which has a protective role in neuron cells. These findings
may provide a new perspective to design a new drug with less toxic results.