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Amino Acids. 2006 Nov;31(4):449-56. Epub 2006 Apr 4.

Brain G protein-dependent signaling pathways in Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain.


Premature aging and neuropathological features of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are commonly observed in Down syndrome (DS). Based on previous findings in a DS mouse model, the function of signaling pathways associated with adenylyl cyclase (AC) and phospholipase C (PLC) was assessed in cerebral cortex and cerebellum of age-matched adults with DS, AD, and controls. Basal production of cAMP was reduced in DS but not in AD cortex, and in both, DS and AD cerebellum. Responses to GTPgammaS, noradrenaline, SKF 38393 and forskolin were more depressed in DS than in AD cortex and cerebellum. Although no differences in PLC activity among control, DS and AD cortex were observed under basal and GTPgammaS- or Ca-stimulated conditions, the response of DS cortex to serotonergic and cholinergic stimulation was depressed, and that of AD was only impaired at cholinergic stimulation. No differences were documented in cerebellum. Our results demonstrate that PLC and AC were severely disturbed in the aged DS and AD brains, but the alterations in DS were more severe, and differed to some extent from those observed in AD.

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