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Acta Neuropathol. 1997 Apr;93(4):414-20.

Expression of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein in post-mortem human brain tissues of Alzheimer's disease and control cases.

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  • 1Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The immunohistochemical localization of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein (Il-1ra) was examined in brain tissues of neurologically normal controls as well as in cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Pick's disease. In all control cases, immunoreactivity was observed in some normal-appearing neurons in the neocortex and hippocampus. In AD, there appeared to be increased numbers of positively staining neurons, and the staining of individual neurons was somewhat more intense. Il-1ra was additionally expressed in globular deposits in senile plaques and, weakly, in some extracellular neurofibrillary tangles. In Pick's disease, there was similar staining of normal-appearing neurons and intense staining in some degenerating neurons. Using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction techniques, the mRNA for IL-1ra was detected in cultured IMR-32 human neuroblastoma cells following differentiation with dibutyryl cAMP and bromodeoxyuridine. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-1ra is a product of normal neurons which may be upregulated in some pathological circumstances.

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