Cholesterol secoaldehyde, an ozonation product of cholesterol, induces amyloid aggregation and apoptosis in murine GT1-7 hypothalamic neurons

K. Sathishkumar, Xiaochun Xi, Roy Martin, Rao M. Uppu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Aldehydic products from ozonation of cholesterol and peroxidation of phospholipids have been shown to accelerate aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) in vitro. Here, we show that 3β-hydroxy-5-oxo-5,6-secocholestan- 6-al (ChSeco), an ozonation product of cholesterol, induces Aβ aggregation, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and cytotoxicity in murine GT1-7 hypothalamic neurons. The formation of Aβ aggregates in situ was dose-dependent at ChSeco concentrations ranging from 1 to 20 μM. The increase in insoluble Aβ aggregates at increasing concentrations of ChSeco was accompanied by a decrease in soluble Aβ as evidenced by Western blot analysis. The formation of ROS in neuronal cells was found to be dose- and time-dependent with the magnitude being higher at 20 μM compared to 10 μM ChSeco or untreated controls. The increase in ROS was associated with depletion of GSH. The cytotoxicity induced by ChSeco involved changes in phosphatidylserine translocation, DNA fragmentation, and caspase 3/7 activity that are characteristic of apoptosis. Pretreatment of neuronal cells with Trolox, a water-soluble analog of α-tocopherol offered partial, but significant protection against ChSeco-induced cell death, whereas, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) completely prevented the cytotoxic effects of ChSeco. NAC and Trolox were without any effects on ChSeco-induced Aβ aggregation. Fibrillogenesis inhibitors, which inhibited Aβ aggregation, did not inhibit cell death induced by ChSeco, implying that ROS generation, and not Aβ aggregation, plays a major role in the observed cytotoxicity. However, since Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases are slow and progressive, the formation of Aβ aggregates in vivo by ChSeco may have long-term pathological consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Amyloid aggregation
  • Cholesterol secoaldehyde
  • Neuronal apoptosis
  • Oxysterols
  • Ozone
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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