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Neurosci Lett. 2001 May 4;303(2):79-82.

Expression of apoptosis related proteins in brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20 A-1090, Vienna, Austria.


An increasing number of proteins are implicated in apoptosis and several of them have been shown to be altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain. Because of this apoptosis is thought to be the underlying mechanism of neuronal cell loss in AD. To further substantiate this hypothesis we investigated the expression of a recently identified apoptosis related proteins and other apoptosis regulators in frontal cortex and cerebellum of AD by Western blot and enzyme-linked immunsorbent assay technique. Quantitative analysis revealed unaltered levels of Bax and RAIDD (Receptor interacting protein associated ICH-1 (caspase-2)/CED-3 (Caenorhabditis elegans death protease-3)-homologous protein with death domain) in both regions. ZIP (Zipper interacting protein) kinase, Bim/BOD (Bcl-2 interacting mediator of cell death/Bcl-2 related ovarian death gene) and p21 were significantly increased only in AD frontal cortex (P < 0.05, in all cases). Cerebellar Bcl-2 levels were significantly increased in AD (P < 0.01) while in AD frontal cortex, although the levels tended to increase did not reach significance level. The results indicate that apoptosis indeed account for the neuronal loss in AD. However, it does not seem to involve Bax and RAIDD.

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