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Ann Neurol. 2003 Nov;54(5):638-46.

CCR1 is an early and specific marker of Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Pharmacopathology, Berlex Biosciences, 2600 Hilltop Drive, Richmond, CA 94804, USA. meredith_halks-miller@berlex.com


Chemokines are a diverse group of small proteins that effect cell signaling by binding to G-protein-coupled, seven-trans-membrane receptors. Our group had found previously that the chemokine receptor CCR1 was present in neurons and dystrophic processes in a small sample of Alzheimer's disease cases. This expanded immunohistochemical study shows that the number of CCR1-positive plaque-like structures in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex is highly correlated to dementia state as measured by the clinical dementia rating score. CCR1 immunoreactivity is found in dystrophic, neurofilament-positive, synaptophysin-negative neurites that are associated with senile plaques containing amyloid beta peptides of the 1-42 species (Abeta42). CCR1 was not, however, associated with diffuse deposits of Abeta42. There was limited expression of CCR1 in neurofibrillary tangle-bearing neuritic processes. Astrocytes and microglia were typically negative for CCR1. Human brains from age-matched, nondemented individuals rarely displayed either CCR1 or Abeta42 immunoreactivity. Seven other types of dementing neurodegenerative diseases were examined, and all failed to demonstrate CCR1 immunopositivity unless Abeta42-positive plaques were also present. Thus, neuronal CCR1 is not a generalized marker of neurodegeneration. Rather, it appears to be part of the neuroimmune response to Abeta42-positive neuritic plaques.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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