Astrocytes & Astrocyte derived Extracellular Vesicles in Morphine Induced Amyloidopathy: Implications for Cognitive Deficits in Opiate Abusers.

Aging and Disease
Susmita SilShilpa Buch


While opiates like morphine play a major role in the pharmacotherapy for the control of pain associated with various diseases, paradoxically, their long-term use is associated with cognitive impairments. Furthermore, morphine administration has been shown to result in neuronal synaptodendritic injury in rodent brains, leading to neurodegeneration. We recently reported the role of astrocytes as contributors of amyloidosis associated with HIV-associated neurological disorders. Herein we hypothesize that morphine could induce astrocytic amyloidosis, which, in turn, could be disseminated to various regions in the brain by astrocyte-derived EVs (ADEVs). In this study we demonstrate brain region-specific up-regulation of astrocytic amyloids in morphine dependendent rhesus macaques. In addition, herein we also demonstrate increased expression of β-site cleaving enzyme (BACE1), APP, and Aβ in human primary astrocytes (HPAs) exposed to morphine. Mechanisms involved in this process included the up-regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1α), its translocation and binding to the promoter of BACE1, leading to increased BACE1 activity and, generation of Aβ 1-42. Gene silencing approaches confirmed the regulatory role of HIF-1α in BACE1 ...Continue Reading

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