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Brain Res. 2008 Sep 16;1230:273-80. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.06.124. Epub 2008 Jul 14.

Hippocampal RAGE immunoreactivity in early and advanced Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Division of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology, Rhode Island Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, 593 Eddy Street (APC 12-219), Providence, RI 02903, USA.


Microvascular accumulation and neuronal overproduction of amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) are pathologic features of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we examined the receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE), a multi-ligand receptor found in both neurons and cerebral microvascular endothelia that binds Abeta. RAGE expression was assessed in aged controls (n = 6), patients with early AD-like pathology (n = 6), and severe, Braak V-VI AD (n = 6). Human hippocampi were stained with a specific polyclonal antibody directed against RAGE (Research Diagnostics, Flanders, NJ). Immunoreactivity was localized in both neurons and cerebral endothelial cells. Quantitative image-analyses were performed on grayscale images to assess the total surface area of endothelial RAGE immunoreaction product in cross sections of cerebral microvessels (5-20 microm). Confocal images were acquired for confirmation of RAGE immunoreactivity in both microvessels and neurons by coupling RAGE with CD-31 and neurofilament, respectively. A significant increase in endothelial RAGE immunoreactivity was found in severe Braak V-VI AD patients when compared to aged controls (p < 0.001), and when compared to patients with early AD pathology (p = 0.0125). In addition, a significant increase in endothelial RAGE immunoreactivity was witnessed when comparing aged controls having no reported AD pathology with patients having early AD-like pathology (p = 0.038). Our data suggest that microvascular RAGE levels increase in conjunction with the onset of AD, and continue to increase linearly as a function of AD pathologic severity (p < 0.0001).

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