Secreted Phospholipase A2 Involvement in Neurodegeneration: Differential Testing of Prosurvival and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Enzyme Inhibition
by Shuyan Chen, Lihua Yao, Timothy J. Cunningham
There is increased interest in the contribution of secreted phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) enzymes to neurodegenerative diseases. Systemic treatment with the nonapeptide CHEC-9, a broad spectrum uncompetitive inhibitor of sPLA2, has been shown previously to inhibit neuron death and aspects of the inflammatory response in several models of neurodegeneration. A persistent question in studies of sPLA2 inhibitors, as for several other anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective compounds, is whether the cell protection is direct or due to slowing of the toxic aspects of the inflammatory response. To further explore this issue, we developed assays using SY5Y (neuronal cells) and HL-60 (monocytes) cell lines and examined the effects of sPLA2 inhibition on these homogeneous cell types in vitro. We found that the peptide inhibited sPLA2 enzyme activity in both SY5Y and HL-60 cultures. This inhibition provided direct protection to SY5Y neuronal cells and their processes in response to several forms of stress including exposure to conditioned medium from HL-60 cells. In cultures of HL-60 cells, sPLA2 inhibition had no effect on survival of the cells but attenuated their differentiation into macrophages, with regard to process development, phagocytic ability, and the expression of differentiation marker CD36, as well as the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6. These results suggest that sPLA2 enzyme activity organizes a cascade of changes comprising both cell degeneration and inflammation, processes that could theoretically operate independently during neurodegenerative conditions. The effectiveness of sPLA2 inhibitor CHEC-9 may be due to its ability to affect both processes in isolation. Testing potential anti-inflammatory/neuroprotective compounds with these human cell lines and their conditioned media may provide a useful screening tool prior to in vivo therapeutic applications.
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