Exposure to cigarette smoke has been implicated in the progression of cerebrovascular and neurological disorders like stroke through inflammation and blood-brain barrier disruption. In this study, we investigated the signaling cascade activated by cigarette smoke extracts (CSE) and cadmium (Cd) resulting in the COX-2 induction in C6 rat astroglia cells. CSE or Cd induced Notch1 cleavage and activated p38 MAPK and CREB signaling pathways in C6 astroglia cells. Knockdown of nicastrin using siRNA or γ-secretase inhibitors, DAPT and L-685,486, reduced Notch1 cleavage and phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and CREB, while phosphorylation of ERK and JNK remained unaffected. Additionally, the blockage of γ-secretase activity did not show any effect on the phosphorylation of AKT, another upstream activator of CREB, indicating that γ-secretase-mediated CREB activation occurs via p38 MAPK. γ-secretase inhibitor also inhibited the CSE and Cd-mediated increase in the expression of COX-2. Furthermore, recombinant overexpression of Notch1 intracellular domain resulted in an increase in the expression of COX-2. Notch signaling induced by CSE and Cd induced apoptosis in C6 cells. Our results demonstrate that CSE exposure activated the p38 MAPK and CREB-mediated induction in COX-2 expression in astrocytes via γ-secretase-mediated Notch1 signaling. Our data provides novel insights into the potential mechanism of pro-inflammatory response activated by exposure to cigarette smoke.
Research. Development. Production.
We are a leading supplier to the global Life Science industry with solutions and services for research, biotechnology development and production, and pharmaceutical drug therapy development and production.