Microglia Endocytose Amyloid β Through the Binding of Transglutaminase 2 and Milk Fat Globule EGF Factor 8 Protein

Kenji Kawabe, Katsura Takano, Mitsuaki Moriyama, Yoichi Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Activation of glial cells has been observed in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Aggregation of amyloid β (Aβ) is profusely observed as characteristic pathology in AD brain. In our previous study using microglial cell line BV-2, tissue-type transglutaminase (TG2) was found to be involved in phagocytosis (Kawabe et al., in Neuroimmunomodulation 22(4):243–249, 2015; Kawabe et al., Neurochem Res 2017). In the present study, we examined whether TG2 and milk fat globule EGF factor 8 protein (MFG-E8), an adaptor protein promotes macrophage to engulf apoptotic cells, were involved in Aβ endocytosis. When the neuronal/glial mixed culture was stimulated freshly prepared Aβ1−42 for 3 days, the incorporation of Aβ was observed by immunofluorescence staining technique in Iba-1-positive microglia. Cystamine, a broad competitive inhibitor of TGs, suppressed it. When aggregated Aβ was added to the mixed culture, the immunoreactivity of MFG-E8 surrounding Aβ was observed, and then followed by microglial endocytosis. Using western blotting technique, MFG-E8 was detected in cell lysate of astrocyte culture, and was also detected in the medium. When microglia culture was incubated with astrocyte conditioned medium, MFG-E8 levels in microglia tended to increase. It is likely that microglia might utilize MFG-E8 released from astrocytes as well as that expressed in themselves in order to endocytose Aβ aggregation. Furthermore, we confirmed that MFG-E8 could bind with TG2 in microglia culture by immunoprecipitate technique. These results suggest that microglia might uptake Aβ as a complex of aggregated Aβ/MFG-E8/TG2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Amyloid β
  • Astrocyte
  • MFG-E8
  • Microglia
  • Transglutaminase 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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