GLIAL CELLSInterleukin-1 induces tau phosphorylation and morphological changes in cultured human astrocytesTanji, KunikazuCA; Mori, Fumiaki; Imaizumi, Tadaatsu1; Yoshida, Hidemi1; Satoh, Kei1; Wakabayashi, KoichiAuthor Information Departments of Molecular Biology 1Vascular Biology, Institute of Brain Science, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, 5 Zaifu-cho, Hirosaki 036-8562, Japan CACorresponding Author: firstname.lastname@example.org Received 16 December 2002; accepted 16 December 2002 NeuroReport: March 3rd, 2003 - Volume 14 - Issue 3 - p 413-417 Buy SDC Abstract Tau phosphorylation is associated with neurite outgrowth and morphogenesis in neurons. Since inflammatory stimuli induce marked morphological changes in astrocytes, we examined the effect of interleukin 1α (IL-1α), an inflammatory cytokine, on the expression and phosphorylation of tau protein in cultured human astrocytes. Western blot analysis showed a rapid and transient increase (3–30 min) of tau phosphorylation at the AT8 epitope. The cells began to extend processes from 24 h after IL-1α stimulation. It is known that tau phosphorylation at the AT8 epitope reduces its ability to bind to, and stabilize, microtubules. The early tau phosphorylation induced by IL-1α might create a plastic environment for morphological changes in astrocytes. © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.