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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 May 13;94(10):5296-301.

Amyloid-beta peptide-receptor for advanced glycation endproduct interaction elicits neuronal expression of macrophage-colony stimulating factor: a proinflammatory pathway in Alzheimer disease.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.


In Alzheimer disease (AD), neurons are thought to be subjected to the deleterious cytotoxic effects of activated microglia. We demonstrate that binding of amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) to neuronal Receptor for Advanced Glycation Endproduct (RAGE), a cell surface receptor for Abeta, induces macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) by an oxidant sensitive, nuclear factor kappaB-dependent pathway. AD brain shows increased neuronal expression of M-CSF in proximity to Abeta deposits, and in cerebrospinal fluid from AD patients there was approximately 5-fold increased M-CSF antigen (P < 0.01), compared with age-matched controls. M-CSF released by Abeta-stimulated neurons interacts with its cognate receptor, c-fms, on microglia, thereby triggering chemotaxis, cell proliferation, increased expression of the macrophage scavenger receptor and apolipoprotein E, and enhanced survival of microglia exposed to Abeta, consistent with pathologic findings in AD. These data delineate an inflammatory pathway triggered by engagement of Abeta on neuronal RAGE. We suggest that M-CSF, thus generated, contributes to the pathogenesis of AD, and that M-CSF in cerebrospinal fluid might provide a means for monitoring neuronal perturbation at an early stage in AD.

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