In order to investigate the mechanism by which oligodendrogliomas cause neuronal damage, media conditioned by G26/24 oligodendroglioma cells, were fractionated into shed vesicles and vesicle-free supernatants, and added to primary cultures of rat fetal cortical neurons. After one night treatment with vesicles, a reproducible, dose-dependent, inhibitory effect on neurite outgrowth was already induced and, after 48-72 h of incubation, neuronal apoptosis was evident. Vesicle-free supernatants and vesicles shed by NIH-3T3 cells had no inhibitory effects on neurons. Western blot analyses showed that treated neurons expressed a decreased amount of neurofilament (NF), growth-associated protein (GAP-43) and microtubule-associated protein (MAP-2). Moreover procaspase-3 and -8 were activated while Bcl-2 expression was reduced. Vesicles were found positive for the proapoptotic molecule, Fas-ligand (Fas-L), and for the B isoform of Nogo protein, a myelin component with inhibitory effects on neurons. Nogo B involvement in the vesicle effects was analyzed both by testing the neutralizing capability of anti-Nogo antibodies and by removing the Nogo receptor from neurons by phospholipase C digestion. These treatments did not revert the vesicle effects. To test the role of Fas-L, vesicles were treated with functional anti-Fas-L monoclonals. Vesicle inhibitory and proapoptotic effects were reduced. Vesicles shed by ovarian carcinoma cells (OvCa), which are known to vehicle biologically active Fas-L, had similar effects on neurons to those of oligodendroglioma vesicles, and their inhibitory effects were also reduced by anti Fas-L antibodies. We therefore conclude that vesicles shed by G26/24 cells induce neuronal apoptosis at least partially by a Fas-L mediated mechanism.
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