The γ-secretase blocker DAPT impairs recovery from lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in rat brain
A. A. Hemmati
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γ-Secretase is an important contributing enzyme in Alzheimer's disease and is therefore an important therapeutic target. However, the impact of γ-secretase inhibition is not well studied in acute neuroinflammation induced by systemic infection. In this study the influence of γ-secretase on the expression of some proinflammatory markers was assessed in the acute phase as well as the subsiding phase of neuroinflammation. Cerebral γ-secretase cleavage activity was measured by a fluorometric assay after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) intraperitoneal administration. Time profiles of TNF-α and COX-II expression were then determined to detect the time points relevant to the maximal inflammatory responses and the subsequent recovery phase. γ-Secretase activity coincident with TNF-α protein expression returned to its basal level till 8-12 h after systemic challenge with low dose LPS while COX-II over expression lasted for 48-72 h later. Pharmacological inhibition of γ-secretase with local or systemic administration of DAPT (N-[. N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl)-l-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester) was performed to indicate the results on the developmental and sinking phases of inflammatory responses in 6 and 72 h post LPS respectively. Our results demonstrate that both local and systemic modulation of γ-secretase hyper-activity with DAPT increase the duration of TNF-α, COX-II, and NFκB induction. We consistently found mild augmented apoptosis in animals treated with DAPT as determined by measuring cleaved caspase-3 expression and by TUNEL assay 72 h following LPS injection. These results suggest that γ-secretase modulation interferes with certain immune regulatory pathways which may restrict some inflammatory transcription factors such as NFκB. © 2012 IBRO.