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Acta Neurol Scand. 2010 Jan;121(1):44-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2009.01179.x.

Expression of LIF and LIF receptor beta in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.



Signaling through the leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) receptor (LIFR) is crucial for nervous system development. There are few studies concerning the expression of LIF and LIFR in normal and degenerating adult human brain.


To study the expression of LIF and LIFR in Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and control brains.


LIF and LIFR mRNA copy numbers were determined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR from four brain regions of 34 patients with AD, 40 patients with PD, and 40 controls. Immunohistochemistry was performed in seven PD and in four AD patients and in seven normal controls.


In general, the LIF copy numbers were 1 log higher than the LIFR copy numbers. In the AD brains, LIF expression was higher than in the controls in the hippocampus and in the temporal cortex, and in the PD brains in the hippocampus and in the anterior cingulated cortex. Expressions of LIF and LIFR in different brain regions were opposite except for the AD hippocampus and PD anterior cingulated cortex, where the expression patterns were parallel.


Co-operative expression of LIF and LIFR in AD hippocampus and PD anterior cingulated cortex may indicate a role for LIF in neuronal damage or repair in these sites.

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